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.

Theodore Roethke

2 thoughts on “in a dark time

  1. Hello! I just have a question. Why did you post this poem? Rather, is there a reason you post the poems that you do? I imagine you analyze it, or it could simply be that you really enjoy poetry.
    Anyway, I like this. Reading it out loud magnifies the sense of self-examination, a perception of despair. The tag says its postmodern, yet it feels romantic: “A lord of nature weeping to a tree.” I know this post is a little old but I wonder if you also write poetry like this. Good day~

    Like

  2. hello…it is simply my passion for poetry and philosophy.
    i can not find words to describe the beauty of this poem, like some heat-maddened summer fly.
    i don’t write poetry…good day, thank you 🙂

    Like

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