Theodore Roethke

(1908 - 1963 / Michigan / United States)

Theodore Roethke
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Theodore Huebner Roethke was born in Saginaw, Michigan, the son of Otto Roethke and Helen Huebner, who, along with an uncle owned a local greenhouse. As a child, he spent much time in the greenhouse observing nature. Roethke grew up in Saginaw, attending Aurthur Hill High School, where he gave a speech on the Junior Red Cross that was published in twenty six different languages. In 1923 his father died of cancer, an event that would forever shape his creative and artistic outlooks. From 1925 to 1929 Roethke attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, graduating magna cum laude. Despite his family’s wish that he pursue a legal career, he quit law school after one semester. From there ... more »

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  • get Jane(5/8/2019 9:05:00 AM)

    elegy for Jane (my student, thrown by a horse) . bye Jane.

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  • Larry Levy(8/1/2018 11:50:00 AM)

    I first read Roethke in high school and over the next six decades have never stopped. He is a poet's poet, a peerless craftsman, and often deeply moving.

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  • Destiny(5/3/2018 12:10:00 PM)

    iv never liked any of the pomes because i have not heard any

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  • Richard(2/5/2018 9:10:00 AM)

    This poem fire and I listen to it before i go to bed

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  • Wbiro Numi Who? Wbiro Numi Who?(8/5/2017 4:49:00 AM)

    'The Far Field' should be in the short list.

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  • Sam Smedley(6/10/2015 7:45:00 PM)

    Awesome. Amazing work. This is a treasure that must be kept alive.

    26 person liked.
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  • Stan Petrovich(4/18/2015 5:35:00 PM)

    Roethke is a treasure.

    27 person liked.
    20 person did not like.
  • Gigi Levin Gigi Levin(9/16/2014 10:20:00 AM)

    Sad that nobody else seems to have noticed this wonderful poet.

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Best Poem of Theodore Roethke

My Papa's Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Read the full of My Papa's Waltz Updates

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