Journey Poems - Poems For Journey

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Journey Into The Interior - Poem by Theodore Roethke

In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.

Comments about Journey Into The Interior by Theodore Roethke

  • Anil Kumar Panda 7/11/2018 11:26:00 AM

    Very nice poem. Enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing. Reply

    1 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Khairul Ahsan 7/11/2018 9:50:00 AM

    Frankly speaking, I did not understand the poem fully until I read some of the enlightening comments, particularly those of Lantz Pierre and Robert Murray Smith. Thanks to both. Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Lungelo S Mbuyazi 7/11/2018 7:28:00 AM

    Nice write here... I enjoyed reading it Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Harley White 7/11/2018 6:01:00 AM

    Powerful poem! Theodore Roethke is one of my favorites. I especially love The Waking... Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Robert Murray Smith 7/11/2018 12:56:00 AM

    The poet leads us on a journey out of self. This means in our self-actualisation there are interiorities we recognise and those we cannot. The mind has no hope of pinpointing self for it is a moveable feast resting on the physical nature of the brain/ mind. The poet leads us through many metaphorical settings that seems to recognise this. Reply

    Khairul Ahsan (7/11/2018 9:41:00 AM)

    Thank you @Robert Murray Smith, for this wonderful explanation. Your elaboration helped me understand the poem.

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • chasbo 3/21/2018 4:52:00 AM

    Uh, where's the rest of this poem? It's five times this length. A great, great poem, here bastardized. Reply

    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis 7/11/2017 1:31:00 PM

    The long journey! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. Reply

    5 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Pranab K Chakraborty 7/11/2017 8:02:00 AM

    And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
    At the sudden veering, the moment of turning........................................... Terrible imagery but metaphor is unique.

    4 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Lantz Pierre 7/11/2017 2:59:00 AM

    There are a lot of well-worked-out images in this poem, touching on all the senses. It is visual and muscular and tactile and also very emotional for adroit choices and positioning. It is a visceral poem that goes to the gut, the gut we often refer to as basis to our instincts. And still I'm left feeling, in my head, my thoughts, that I don't fully comprehend the journey that's started in the first line. Out of the self. The movement out of the self is one the implies rejection and repudiation, an attempt to escape what is ultimately inescapable. We can change and evolve, seek therapy or anesthetize ourselves with intoxicants, but we remain ourselves, no one else. But Roethke already foresaw that contradiction in the title. He front-loaded the abstract, intellectual argument of the poem in the title and first line, then took us on a wild ride through the real world where we forget that heady stuff and deal with the real journey. It's a really risky stratagem of balance that, for me at least, gives the poem its ultimate impact. The need at the end to circle around and realize that journey, where ever it takes you, in or out, ultimately always leads back to the self. Reply

    Khairul Ahsan (7/11/2018 9:48:00 AM)

    I have never seen anyone earlier who writes a comment after delving so much deep into the poem. Your comment is an ornament that has adorned the poem so beautifully! Thank you.

    Glen Kappy (7/11/2018 6:58:00 AM)

    lantz, what i relate this poem to are my mountain bike excursions where i was forced from introspection to give my full attention to the immediacy of the trail—large stones that made the bike frame bounce wildly, cactus on one side, steep drop-offs on the other... i wonder if roethke meant nothing more than this. but this is not a long journey—not for me. perhaps he was a lot more introvert than me? -glen

    Robert Murray Smith (7/11/2018 12:50:00 AM)

    An unparalleled comment.

    Seamus O Brian (7/11/2017 11:38:00 AM)

    It is obvious that you invest time and careful thought into both your reading and your commentary of works posted on this site. I would like to thank you and express that your insights are valued additions to this forum.
    All the best

    5 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. Asuncion 7/11/2017 2:03:00 AM

    In the long journey.... Thanks for posting... Reply

    6 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
Read all 16 comments »
Journey Poems
  1. 1. Journey Into The Interior
    Theodore Roethke
  2. 2. On A Journey
    Hermann Hesse
  3. 3. Night Journey
    Theodore Roethke
  4. 4. Journey Home
    Rabindranath Tagore
  5. 5. A Lover's Journey
    Rudyard Kipling
  6. 6. The Journey
    Rabindranath Tagore
  7. 7. Hard Is The Journey
    Li Po
  8. 8. Sonnet 50: How Heavy Do I Journey On The..
    William Shakespeare
  9. 9. A Journey Without Destiny
    Sulaiman Mohd Yusof
  10. 10. Journey
    Edna St. Vincent Millay
  11. 11. Journey
    Liz Munro
  12. 12. The Night Journey
    Rupert Brooke
  13. 13. The Golden Journey To Samarkand
    James Elroy Flecker
  14. 14. Night Journey, The
    Rupert Brooke
  15. 15. The Journey Is A Picture
    Sandra Fowler
  16. 16. The Journey Of A Poem Compared To All Th..
    Delmore Schwartz
  17. 17. Jerry's Journey - Professor Rosenfeldt
    Alison Cassidy
  18. 18. The Journey Of Life
    Lovina Sylvia Chidi
  19. 19. Winter Journey Over The Hartz Mountain
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  20. 20. A Journey Of Everything New
    Gil Gregorio
  21. 21. The Journey
    Linda Ori
  22. 22. Our Journey Had Advanced;
    Emily Dickinson
  23. 23. Sir Curt's Wedding-Journey
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  24. 24. The Journey
    James Arlington Wright
  25. 25. Endless Journey
    Anthony Taimanglo Taitano
  26. 26. Jerry's Journey - Aboard The Diagnostic ..
    Alison Cassidy
  27. 27. The Word's Journey
    Dónall Dempsey
  28. 28. Jerry's Journey - Independence Is Coming
    Alison Cassidy
  29. 29. Journey Of Life
    Joseph T. Renaldi
  30. 30. Jerry's Journey - 'He's My Patient'
    Alison Cassidy
  31. 31. Jerry's Journey - After The Angiogram
    Alison Cassidy
  32. 32. A Journey Through The Moonlight
    Russell Edson
  33. 33. Jerry's Journey - Beyond Intensive Care
    Alison Cassidy
  34. 34. (journey Inwards Collection) .... Refle..
    Janice Windle
  35. 35. A Journey To My Roots
    Seán O Muiríosa
  36. 36. A Personal Journey
    David Harris
  37. 37. ***from Sunset To Twillight, A Floridian..
    Debora Short
  38. 38. (updated) The U. S. Army Ranger, A Poeti..
    Reginald Walker
  39. 39. Jerry's Journey - Justin Negri
    Alison Cassidy
  40. 40. (updated) The U. S. Army Ranger, A Poeti..
    Reginald Walker
  41. 41. Jerry's Journey - Category 1 (Urgent)
    Alison Cassidy
  42. 42. The Journey Between Life And Death
    Godspower Oshodin
  43. 43. (journey Inwards Collection) .... Soul S..
    Janice Windle
  44. 44. Jerry's Journey - Held Up On The Tourist..
    Alison Cassidy
  45. 45. Jerry's Journey - Part Viii - A Foggy Day
    Alison Cassidy
  46. 46. Teaching Is A Lifelong Journey
    Jann Matthew Papin
  47. 47. .*a Heart-Lined Journey
    Debora Short
  48. 48. Jerry's Journey - The Light At The End O..
    Alison Cassidy
  49. 49. Jerry's Journey - Little Steps
    Alison Cassidy
  50. 50. [02] Journey
    Ashraful Musaddeq

Journey Poems

  1. A Lover's Journey

    When a lover hies abroad Looking for his love, Azrael smiling sheathes his sword, Heaven smiles above. Earth and sea His servants be, And to lesser compass round, That his love be sooner found!

  2. Night Journey

    Now as the train bears west, Its rhythm rocks the earth, And from my Pullman berth I stare into the night While others take their rest. Bridges of iron lace, A suddenness of trees, A lap of mountain mist All cross my line of sight, Then a bleak wasted place, And a lake below my knees. Full on my neck I feel The straining at a curve; My muscles move with steel, I wake in every nerve. I watch a beacon swing From dark to blazing bright; We thunder through ravines And gullies washed with light. Beyond the mountain pass Mist deepens on the pane; We rush into a rain That rattles double glass. Wheels shake the roadbed stone, The pistons jerk and shove, I stay up half the night To see the land I love.

  3. On A Journey

    Don't be downcast, soon the night will come, When we can see the cool moon laughing in secret Over the faint countryside, And we rest, hand in hand. Don't be downcast, the time will soon come When we can have rest. Our small crosses will stand On the bright edge of the road together, And rain fall, and snow fall, And the winds come and go. Translated by James Wright

  4. Journey Home

    The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long. I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet. It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune. The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end. My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!' The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'