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Theodore Roethke "The Waking" Poem animation

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Uploaded on Aug 10, 2011

Heres the celebrated American poet Theodore Roethke reading his most famous and brilliant poem "The Waking" .The Waking is a poem written by Theodore Roethke in 1953 in the form of a villanelle. It is a self-reflexive poem that describes waking up from sleep.[citation needed] It comments on the unknowable[1] in a contemplative mood. It also has been interpreted as comparing life to sleep.

Theodore Roethke ( /ˈrɛtki/ ret-kee; May 25, 1908 -- August 1, 1963) was an American poet, who published several volumes of poetry characterized by its rhythm, rhyming, and natural imagery. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book, The Waking.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2011

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.


Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

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