Treasure Island

Theodore Roethke

(1908 - 1963 / Michigan / United States)

In A Dark Time


In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or a winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

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?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: dark, despair, summer, nature, tree, moon, light, fire, fear, wind, night, death, time, god

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (In A Dark Time by Theodore Roethke )

Enter the verification code :

  • Richard Vandervoort (5/10/2009 11:06:00 PM)

    IN A DARK TIME is a great poem of mood and tone, of a man's encounter with 'self' or 'Self', a searching for his truer, deepest identity. 'Which I is I? ' the speaker asks. Anyone who ever experienced an 'identity crisis' may identify with this poem. Richard Lee Van Der Voort, M.A. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

New Poems

  1. Mr. Mountain, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  2. Dear father, Missau Missau
  3. Phenomenal Cover of Beauties, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  4. Anecdote of a Neglected Man, Zillur Rahman Shuvro
  5. COPLA 86 INVOCATION: This Bad Guy World, T (no first name) Wignesan
  6. Mbaitoli, Missau Missau
  7. An Evergreen's Aubade, Maurice Whyte
  8. The Love Of God, BRENDA KANSHABE TUMUSHABE
  9. A SHADOW IN DAKNESS, ROCHISH MON
  10. Flaming Desire, Pijush Biswas

Poem of the Day

poet William Wordsworth

I

I AM not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk.--
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]