Was it Light?

by Theodore Roethke


Original Language English

Was it light?
Was it light within?
Was it light within light?
Stillness becoming alive,
Yet still?

A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.
Wait.

-- from Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty, Edited by Alan Jacobs

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

The carpets were cleaned yesterday. I dragged all my furniture outside: a couch, tables, chairs. Even my computer, so I could work... outside. It was a lovely day. A reminder for me that we have too many roofs in our lives, not enough sky...

I've also been recovering from a bit of the flu, so I fell asleep on the couch outside. When I woke up, my eyes opened to the sunlight streaming through green leaves overhead. And I lay there, wrapped in that timeless state of light fever, watching the world and its light moving about me, yet somehow remaining still.

Was it light?
Was it light within?
Was it light within light?
Stillness becoming alive,
Yet still?



Recommended Books: Theodore Roethke

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty
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The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke
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Theodore Roethke: Selected Poems
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On Poetry and Craft
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The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke
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Was it Light?