Famous Quotes & Sayings

Theodore Roethke Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Theodore Roethke.

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Theodore Roethke Quotes 2233969

I came where the river Ran over stones; My ears knew An early joy. And all the waters Of all the streams Sang in my veins That summer day. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1578339

Self-contemplation is a curse
That makes an old confusion worse. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 771557

I long for the imperishable quiet at the heart
of form. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 910163

I am overwhelmed by the beautiful disorder of poetry, the eternal virginity of words. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1493962

What falls away is always. And is near. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2126504

In the kingdom of bang and blab. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 905242

Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 721219

What's important? That which is dug out of books, or out of the guts? — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 901506

Art is our defense against hysteria and death. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 801175

The light comes brighter from the east; the cawOf restive crows is sharper on the ear. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1670553

I have gone into the waste lonely places — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 575117

Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm!
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marred by curse,
The ugly of the universe. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 635059

The Waking
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2118245

What grace I have is enough. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 724935

From The Auction
I left my home with unencumbered will
And all the rubbish of confusion sold. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2159081

Fear was my father, Father Fear. His look drained the stones. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1020393

I fear those shadows most that start from my own feet. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 878944

When I go mad,
I call my friends by phone:
I am afraid they might think
they're alone. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 379666

Beginnings start without shade,Thinner than minnows.The live grass whirls with the sun,Feet run over the simple stones,There's time enough.Behold, in the lout's eye, love. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 878173

Civilization is over-rated, but there isn't much else. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1394305

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I? — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 149376

In a dark time, the eye begins to see / I meet my shadow in the deepening shade ... Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1748109

Let others probe the mystery if they can.
Time-harried prisoners of Shall and Will-
The right thing happens to the happy man.
The bird flies out, the bird flies back again;
The hill becomes the valley, and is still;
Let others delve that mystery if they can.
God bless the roots! -Body and soul are one
The small become the great, the great the small;
The right thing happens to the happy man.
Child of the dark, he can out leap the sun,
His being single, and that being all:
The right thing happens to the happy man.
Or he sits still, a solid figure when
The self-destructive shake the common wall;
Takes to himself what mystery he can,
And, praising change as the slow night comes on,
Wills what he would, surrendering his will
Till mystery is no more: No more he can.
The right thing happens to the happy man. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 586584

A too explicit elucidation in education destroys much of the pleasure of learning. There should be room for sly hinters, masters of suggestion. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1960831

The living all assemble! What's the cue?
Do what the clumsy partner wants to do! — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1638678

Maybe God has a house.
But not here. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 877039

Be sure that whatever you are is you. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 901938

To follow the drops sliding from a lifting oar, Head up, while the rower breathes, and the small boat drifts quietly shoreward ... — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 826337

All finite things reveal infinitude: The mountain with its singular bright shade Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow, The after-light upon ice-burdened pines; Odor of basswood upon a mountain slope, A scene beloved of bees; Silence of water above a sunken tree: The pure serene of memory of one man,- A ripple widening from a single stone Winding around the waters of the world. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1360510

Pain wanders through my bones like a lost fire — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1839647

Any fool can take a bad line out of a poem; it takes a real pro to throw out a good line. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 255340

From I Knew a Woman
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! — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 667312

What is desire?
The impulse to make someone else complete?
That woman would set sodden straw on fire. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 77198

Yet if we wait, unafraid, beyond the fearful instant,
The burning lake turns into a forest pool,
The fire subsides into rings of water,
A sunlit silence. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 129591

Epidermal Macabre
Indelicate is he who loathes
The aspect of his fleshy clothes,-
The flying fabric stitched on bone,
The vesture of the skeleton,
The garment neither fur nor hair,
The cloak of evil and despair,
The veil long violated by
Caresses of the hand and eye.
Yet such is my unseemliness:
I hate my epidermal dress,
The savage blood's obscenity,
The rags of my anatomy,
And willingly would I dispense
With false accouterments of sense,
To sleep immodestly, a most
Incarnadine and carnal ghost. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 208762

From Open House
My truths are all foreknown,
This anguish self-revealed.
I'm naked to the bone,
With nakedness my shield.
Myself is what I wear:
I keep the spirit spare. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 316045

A mind too active is no mind at all. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 340282

Where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
My thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm?
To run under the hawk's wing,
Under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm-tree,
To live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom-cat.
(from "The Meadow Mouse") — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 354799

In our age, if a boy or girl is untalented, the odds are in favor of their thinking they want to write. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 369080

In this place of light: he dares to live
Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings
Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 416570

What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 439338

Over every mountain, there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 484171

Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 551068

Being, not doing, is my first joy. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 660365

Time marks us while we are marking time. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 665433

Love begets love. This torment is my joy. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 674827

LULL
(November, 1939)

The winds of hatred blow
Cold, cold across the flesh
And chill the anxious heart;
Intricate phobias grow
From each malignant wish
To spoil collective life.
Now each man stands apart.

We watch opinion drift,
Think of our separate skins.
On well-upholstered bums
The generals cough and shift
Playing with painted pins.
The arbitrators wait;
The newsmen suck their thumbs.
The mind is quick to turn
Away from simple faith
To the cant and fury of
Fools who will never learn;
Reason embraces death,
While out of frightened eyes
Still stares the wish to love. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 718943

Love makes me naked;
Propinquity's a harsh master;
O the songs we hide singing to ourselves! — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 728830

Death was not. I lived in a simple drowse:Hands and hair moved through a dream of wakening blossoms.Rain sweetened the cave and the dove still called;The flowers leaned on themselves, the flowers in hollows;And love, love sang toward. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 770937

O my poor words, bear with me. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 807806

By daily dying, I have come to be. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 809921

What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 878974

When true love broke my heart in half,
I took the whiskey from the shelf,
And told my neighbors when to laugh.
I keep a dog, and bark myself. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 883253

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. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 922997

My bones whisper to my blood; my sleep deceives me. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 995656

Live in a perpetual great astonishment. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1037951

ROOT CELLAR
Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
Shoots dangled and drooped,
Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
And what a congress of stinks!
Roots ripe as old bait,
Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
Nothing would give up life:
Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1054921

The two duties are to lament or praise. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1085542

My father is a fish. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1093355

The damage of teaching: the constant contact with the undeveloped. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1094999

Necessity starves on the stoop of invention. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1116204

I may look like a beer salesman, but I'm a poet. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1149227

It's your privilege to find me incomprehensible. I gave you my minutes; let them remain ours. I hope I haunt you. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1164378

The fields stretch out in long unbroken rows.
We walk aware of what is far and close.
Here distance is familiar as a friend.
The feud we kept with space comes to an end. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1175407

May my silences become more accurate. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1175699

In a dark time, the eye begins to see. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1179488

God bless the roots! Body and soul are one. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1200624

We think by feeling. What is there to know? — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1234900

How terrible the need for God. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1287497

I wish I could find an event that meant as much as simple seeing. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1304668

The stones were sharp,
The wind came at my back;
Walking along the highway,
Mincing like a cat. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1354806

What's freedom for? To know eternity. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1367049

A wave of Time hangs motionless on this particular shore.
I notice a tree, arsenical grey in the light, or the slow
Wheel of the stars, the Great Bear glittering colder than snow,
And remember there was something else I was hoping for. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1446279

I bleed my bones, their marrow to bestowUpon that God who knows what I would know. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1463779

Who rise from flesh to spirit know the fall:
The word outleaps the world, and light is all. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1545363

The poet: would rather eat a heart than a hambone. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1557135

Wish For A Young Wife
My lizard, my lively writher
May your limbs never wither
May the eyes in your face
Survive the green ice
Of envy's mean gaze;
May you live out your life
Without hate, without grief,
And your hair ever blaze,
In the sun, in the sun,
When I am undone,
When I am no one. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1598400

Nothing would give up life:
Even the dirt keeps breathing a small breath. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1626479

What have I done, dear God, to deserve this perpetual feeling that I'm almost ready to begin something really new? — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1649951

My truths are all foreknown,This anguish self-revealed.I'm naked to the bone,With nakedness my shield. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1679585

I lose and find myself in the long water. I am gathered together once more. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1699427

Brooding on God, I may become a man. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1816306

What is madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1819712

She moves as water moves, and comes to me,
Stayed by what was, and pulled by what would be. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1841560

(I measure time by how a body sways.) — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1868249

Wake the happy words. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1920441

The indignity of it!-
With everything blooming above me,
Lilies, pale-pink cyclamen, roses,
Whole fields lovely and inviolate,-
Me down in the fetor of weeds,
Crawling on all fours,
Alive, in a slippery grave. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 1932586

A house for wisdom, a field for revelation.
Speak to the stars, and the stars answer. At first the visible obscures:
Go where the light is. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2000198

(Dreams drain the spirit if we dream too long.) — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2003201

O Lord, may I never want to look good. O Jesus, may I always read it all: out loud and the very way it should be. May I never look at the other findings until I have come to my own true conclusions: May I care for the least of the young: and become aware of the one poem that each may have written; may I be aware of what each thing is, delighted with form, and wary of the false comparison; may I never use the word "brilliant." — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2004574

Teach as an old fishing guide takes out a beginner. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2074531

In a dark time, the mind begins to see. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2082690

Reason? That dreary shed, that hutch for grubby schoolboys. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2086878

So much of adolescence is an ill-defined dying,
An intolerable waiting,
A longing for another place and time,
Another condition. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2114753

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2115561

I teach my sighs to lengthen into songs,
Yet, like a tree, endure the shift of things. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2140266

I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
A point outside the glittering current;
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
My mind moves in more than one place,
In a country half-land, half-water.
I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2141255

The soul has many motions, body one. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2170349

Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It's what everything else isn't. — Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke Quotes 2174130

A lively understandable spirit Once entertained you. It will come again. Be still. Wait. — Theodore Roethke