Learn More

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?
5 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 :

  • Rookie 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 »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. A Visit from St. Nicholas, Clement Clarke Moore
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Li Po

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

poet Marvin Brato Sr

New Poems

  1. How Do They Play The Wooden 'Been' Instr.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Dogs' country, Daisy Pereira
  3. Pestle and Mortar, Francie Lynch
  4. I must strike, gajanan mishra
  5. Yaadein...Your Memories, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  6. Religion, gajanan mishra
  7. gentle thief, Bull Hawking
  8. Xmas comes, Kumarmani Mahakul
  9. Surroundings-42, Indira Renganathan
  10. Courage, Leong Ming Loong
[Hata Bildir]