Elegy For Jane Poem by Theodore Roethke

Elegy For Jane

Rating: 3.9

(My student, thrown by a horse)

I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
And how, once started into talk, the light syllables leaped for her.
And she balanced in the delight of her thought,
A wren, happy, tail into the wind,
Her song trembling the twigs and small branches.
The shade sang with her;
The leaves, their whispers turned to kissing,
And the mould sang in the bleached valleys under the rose.

Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
Even a father could not find her:
Scraping her cheek against straw,
Stirring the clearest water.
My sparrow, you are not here,
Waiting like a fern, making a spiney shadow.
The sides of wet stones cannot console me,
Nor the moss, wound with the last light.

If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter,
Neither father nor lover.

Hillary Herbert 28 February 2007

Elegy for Jane is one of the most captivating and heartfelt poems I have ever read. Theodore Roethke's talent is unparalleled.

7 5 Reply
Anne Bradstreet 21 March 2007

True dat represent T-dog!

6 6 Reply
Claudia Krizay 25 April 2011

i first read this poem in high school- Very heartfelt- a great write!

7 4 Reply
Michael Shepherd 26 April 2005

Such a graceful tribute in its discreet emotion.

4 4 Reply
Thabani Khumalo 16 June 2015

I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to.ab

3 3 Reply
Felipe 10 March 2020

Loves student motherfaq

0 0 Reply
Scharlie Meeuws 08 October 2017

Sadly, just read about this poet, that he already died in the sixties.....and no wonder he was loved and read by so many...

2 7 Reply
Scharlie Meeuws 08 October 2017

Your poem is touching all my heartstrings. It has beautiful images that convey deep feelings. Thank you so much for sharing... Scharlie

3 5 Reply
Rajnish Manga 11 July 2017

If only I could nudge you from this sleep, My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon. Over this damp grave.... //.... It is so emotional. To recall the images of a small daughter who is no more. RIP, Jane.

1 5 Reply
M Sagnik Das 24 May 2017

this is so good. peace/////////

3 1 Reply
Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke

Michigan / United States
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