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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.He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
In the worst of poems, he found one line or one word to praise." "I don't know that Roethke was as generous," said Mr. " "I don't think he had traditional teachers who were important to him.
At the University of Michigan I don't think the teachers were very important to him.
He was revered by students at the University of Washington, where he taught from 1947 until he died." "Yes, I agree.
He was one of the true master teachers in American poetry.
He was devoted to the craft of poetry and to the rhythm and the sound; to the words and to the passion that drives poetry. For Richard Hugo, Carolyn Kizer, James Wright, David Wagoner, Tess Gallagher -- he convinced them that they had it in them to make poems." I mentioned that years ago I had sat in on some of Richard Hugo's undergraduate poetry-writing classes at the University of Montana.
He instilled the love of poetry in everyone that he taught. "I was amazed," I said, "at how kind Hugo was to his students. I don't think he was so insanely kind." "Who was Roethke's most important teacher?
Before I go on the road with my show I'd better check to see what the official designation is." "What," I asked, "is the most anthologized of Roethke's poems?
" " 'My Papa's Waltz' is probably the most famous single poem of Roethke's." Such waltzing was not easy.
Edited by Edward Hirsch; The Library of America, American Poets Project, 2005; 158 pages; .
FROM THE DUST JACKET: From the recollections of his youth in Michigan to the visionary longings of the poems written just before his death, Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) embarked on a quest to restore wholeness to a self that seemed irreparably broken.