Theodore Roethke

Michigan / United States
Theodore Roethke
Michigan / United States
Friday, January 3, 2003

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).
Theodore Roethke
Madhabi Banerjee 29 August 2018
0 0 Reply
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
Eduu wa Ndoleli 08 March 2018
I like this Happy Women Day.
1 0 Reply
Scharlie Meeuws 08 October 2017
just beautiful with a great rhythm. You don't find this often in contemporary poems. Brilliantly and cleverly written. Only the reading aloud is not impressive, as this computer voice is always off putting. Don't you think? Scharlie
3 0 Reply
Igwilo Vincent Somto 28 July 2016
Lovely line for a lovely woman
1 0 Reply
Smoky Hoss 05 August 2015
The captivating eternalness of Beauty.
7 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
Aftab Alam Khursheed 21 December 2014
What's freedom for? To know eternity. thank you very nice
6 4 Reply
Sally Plumb Plumb 21 December 2014
Beautiful last line.
3 1 Reply

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