I Knew A Woman Poem by Theodore Roethke

I Knew A Woman

Rating: 4.1

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in a chorus, cheek to cheek).

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;
I nibbled meekly from her proferred hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make).

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant notes to sieze;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved).

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I'm martyr to a motion not my own;
What's freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways).

Sue Ann Simar 04 January 2009

It's a pleasure to read Roethke again.

9 3 Reply
Padraig Mcaheel 13 May 2006

i dont know dddddddddddddddddddddaaaaaaaaaa

5 6 Reply
Nancy De La Pena 10 April 2006

where is this woman?

8 3 Reply
Leslie Audes 05 December 2009

This is just the height of romance.

9 2 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 21 December 2014

A great character the poet created about the woman and it is proud, and nice and greatest thoughts.

6 4 Reply
Chinedu Dike 23 January 2022

A beautiful rendition of words to utmost justice. A heartwarming piece of poetry.....

0 0 Reply
Dr Dillip K Swain 27 August 2021

A fantastic poem....liked it. Top score! !

0 0 Reply
Madhabi Banerjee 29 August 2018


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Dr. Riza 16 July 2018

A lovely woman you can sing just so you

0 0 Reply
Lungelo S Mbuyazi 11 July 2018

A really beautiful poems...well articulated...

0 0 Reply
Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke

Michigan / United States
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