Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Month

April is poetry month, so here is one of my favorite poems. This is from the under-recognized (yet widely studied) great Theodore Roethke: Moss-Gathering (1944) To loosen with all ten fingers held wide and limber And lift up a patch, dark green, the kind for lining cemetery baskets, Thick and cushiony, like an old-fashioned doormat, The crumbling small hollow sticks on the underside mixed with roots, And wintergreen berries and leaves still stuck to the top,- That was moss-gathering. But something always went out of me when I dug those loose carpets Of green, or plunged my elbows in the spongy yellowish moss of the marshes: And afterwards I always felt mean, jogging back over the logging road, As if I had broken the natural order of things in that swampland; Disturbed some rhythm, old and of vast importance, By pulling off flesh from the living planet; As if I had committed, against the whole scheme of life, a desecration.

No comments: