Theodore Roethke

Sip: In honor of these two old bards, please find a small, local brewer and drink one of the brews he or she produces.

Listen/Read: first stanza excerpt from “Open House” by Theodore Roethke

My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
An epic of the eyes
My love, with no disguise.

Roethke taught at my alma mater, the University of Washington,  for the last 15 years of his life. He died in 1964, the year I was born: Roethke biography.

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Roethke reading his beautiful poem for his wife, “I Knew A Woman”

Even though I did not have the opportunity to know Roethke in person, I felt his presence as he was a great influence and colleague of my beloved poetry mentor, the UW literature professor, Nelson Bentley.

Nelson’s obituary from  The Seattle Times.

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