Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Her Longing
Theodore Roethke

Before this longing,
I lived serene as a fish,
At one with the plants in the pond
The mare’s tail, the floating frogbit,
Among my eight-legged friends,
Open like a pool, a lesser parsnip,
Like a leech, looping myself along,
A bug-eyed edible one,
A mouth like a stickleback,—
A thing quiescent!

But now—
The wild stream, the sea itself cannot contain me:
I dive with the black hag, the cormorant,
Or walk the pebble shore with the humpbacked heron,
Shaking out my catch in the morning sunlight,
Or rise with the gar-eagle, the great winged condor,
Floating over the mountains,
Pitting my breast against the rushing air,
A phoenix, sure of my body,
Perpetually rising out of myself,
My wings hovering over the shorebirds,
Or beating against the black clouds of the storm,
Protecting the sea-cliffs.

BIG thanks to my writer friend Doraine for finally FINALLY finding this poem for me. I have searched and searched! And I love it. LOVE it. It does make me wonder, though... what would a poem entitled HIS Longing look like?

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln


  1. I love that abe lincoln quote. so true. Come to my blog, I have something for you. Hope it is maybe a rough version of what you were "longing" for. lol = )

  2. Actually I just reread Her Longing and then mine and it totally seems to suck and pale in comparison but at least it inspired me to write for even a moment and see something from a different point of view besides mine. Oh well, an eager attempt is better than no attempt at all , i guess. = )

  3. What a beautiful poem! I love the visuals. I can see why you enjoy this one, Irene!


  4. Thanks, Irene for the note on my latest effort. You are always so encouraging and quick to set me right when I overanalyze and maybe underestimate myself. = ) lol

  5. this is a beautiful poem. How is your dad doing? how are you doing?


Your thoughts?