Theodore Roethke, ‘As I strolled across an open field’

“The Waking”

I strolled across
An open field;
The sun was out;
Heat was happy.

This way! This way!
The wren’s throat shimmered,
Either to other,
The blossoms sang.

The stones sang,
The little ones did,
And the flowers jumped
Like small goats.

A ragged fringe
Of daisys waved;
I wasn’t alone
In a grove of apples.

Far in the wood
A nestling sighed;
The dew loosened
Its morning smells.

I came where the river
Ran over stones:
My ears knew
An early joy.

And all the waters
Of all the streams
Sang in my veins
That summer day.


Theodore Roethke  is considered one of the great twentieth-century American poets.  He struggled with bipolar disorder throughout his life.  I love is poetry for its use of natural imagery and its fierceness.  He was a big influence on Sylvia Plath.

One thought on “Theodore Roethke, ‘As I strolled across an open field’

  1. hey i realized that this poem is very intellectual and i never had an idea on how this poem relates to my life.

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