Biography[ edit ] Roethke was born in Saginaw, Michigan and grew up on the west side of the Saginaw River. His father, Otto, was a German immigrant, a market-gardener who owned a large local acre greenhousealong with his brother Theodore's uncle. Much of Theodore's childhood was spent in this greenhouse, as reflected by the use of natural images in his poetry.
Roethke believed, like the Romantics, that ultimate meaning grew from the encounter of the sensitive individual with nature in an attempt to determine personally the relationship between humankind and all existence.
Open House, despite its expansive title, contains poems that are rather guarded in their expression. Roethke shows that he can manage traditional forms such as the sonnet and the Spenserian stanza, so that the emphasis is more on pleasing the assumed academic audience rather than saying what he himself wants to say in a manner that is unmistakably his.
In the first and title poem, Roethke states that he will tell all his secrets and withhold nothing from the reader, but the poem remains on a general level, and the secrets are not named.
The last two lines, however, produce a shudder: Roethke abandoned his attempt to please an audience of older, accepted poets in the poems collected in his next book, The Lost Son, and Other Poems. As a child, he was small enough to get under the benches where the roses and other flowers grew in order to cut and pull away the roots and undergrowth that were not wanted.
Although the emphasis in this poem is on the horror and fright of the young boy thrust into the grimy scene, later Roethke would use the union of life and death as a central theme of his poetry. Life both feeds upon death and arises from death; it is impossible to separate the two, which are part of the same process.
In this volume, Roethke sees nature not only as overwhelmingly powerful but also as a comforting friend.
Here he comes closest to his Romantic predecessors, such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but there is a difference. He finally comments on bacteria, which can be seen only with a microscope; each organism has its role to play in the cycle of life.
Roethke is the poet of small nature: Toads, slugs, sparrows, and minnows are the heroes of his poems. He dips into his unconscious to find a way out of his depression and confusion and regresses to childhood, using the meter and subject of nursery rhymes and childish taunts to gain some understanding of the roots of his problem.
At the end of the poem, he has not attained understanding but at least finds solace.
To others, these poems present Roethke as most himself and provide a deep well from which interpretations and insights may be continually drawn.
In The Waking, Roethke continues the long confessional and personal poems but also begins to write poems of a more traditional form and content in which he acknowledges his kinship with and debt to other poets, chief among them W. From Yeats, Roethke borrowed the metaphor of the dance as a symbol for the totality and interaction of all life, as well as certain stylistic approaches to poetry: In his earlier collections, Roethke had firmly established his own style and approach; now he could move back to the world of traditional The entire section is 3, words.
Biography Analysis 18 Homework Help Questions with Expert Answers You'll also get access to more than 30, additional guides andHomework Help questions answered by our experts.My Papa’s Waltz By Theodore Roethke About this Poet Theodore Roethke hardly fits anyone’s image of the stereotypical high-minded poet-intellectual of the s through s.
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, his father was a German immigrant who owned and ran a acre greenhouse. In Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's waltz" the reader finds a horrid experience, the beating of a child by his father, which is told in a way of a romantic and.
My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke: Summary and Critical Analysis When the narrator was young, he would dance around with . Hear Gwendolyn Brooks read "the mother" and Theodore Roethke read "My Papa's Waltz," with insights by ex-US Poet Laureate Donald .
Night Journey by Theodore leslutinsduphoenix.com as the train bears west Its rhythm rocks the earth And from my Pullman berth I stare into the /5(1). My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke: Summary and Critical Analysis When the narrator was young, he would dance around with his father.
He would put his feet on top of his father's.