Monday, May 31, 2010

The Moment - Theodore Roethke

Another - check out the earlier ones here -  by one of most astonishing poetic voices in English of the 20th century, Theodore Roethke.  His poems shift the ground beneath how we see things: I always go away with images I never imagined possible.  In this one, he begins with complexity and ends with such simple words that say and mean so much....
The Moment

We passed the ice of pain,
And came to a dark ravine,
And there we sang with the sea;
The wide, the bleak abyss
Shifted with our slow kiss.

Space struggled with time;
the gong of midnight struck
The naked absolute.
Sound, silence sang as one.

All flowed: without, within;
Body met body, we
Created what’s to be.

What else to say? –
We end in joy.

                                                                      Theodore Roethke - American


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite poems. Well chosen.

Want to point out, however, that Theodore Roethke did not commit suicide as your introduction to this poem states. He had a heart attack while swimming and died from complications shortly after.

Palimpsest said...

You are correct and I corrected. I was thinking about Berryman, who committed suicide when I was an undergrad. Thank you for the "catch".