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Poem by Theodore Roethke

The Small

The small birds swirl around;
The high cicadas chirr;
A towhee pecks the ground;
I look at the first star:
My heart held to its joy,
This whole September day.

The moon goes to the full; 
The moon goes slowly down; 
The wood becomes a wall. 
Far things draw closer in. 
A wind moves through the grass, 
Then all is as it was.

What rustles in the fern?
I feel my flesh divide. 
Things lost in sleep return 
As if out of my side, 
On feet that make no sound 
Over the sodden ground.

The small shapes drowse;
I live To woo the fearful small; 
What moves in grass I loveЧ 
The dead will not lie still, 
And things throw light on things,
And all the stones have wings.

Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke's other poems:
  1. Dolor
  2. My Papa's Waltz
  3. The Waking

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