Sep 19 2012

Theodore Roethke – Was it Light?

Published by at 8:33 am under Poetry

Was it Light?
by Theodore Roethke

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


/ Photo by whatmegsaid /

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?






Theodore Roethke, Theodore Roethke poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Theodore Roethke

US (1908 – 1963) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Theodore Roethke

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Theodore Roethke – Was it Light?”

  1. aparrnaon 20 Sep 2012 at 2:40 am

    Oooh Ivan!! More than the poetry your words move me…..dance with me…stay with me forever…. like light within, they shine sometimes,,….and sometimes rain on me.

    Love and light …..in your light fever, dazzling gentle light!!

  2. Jelenaon 20 Sep 2012 at 7:27 am

    I am always happy Ivan, my poetic brother, to read your commentaries and the poetry you present to us for the day ahead.
    Our experiences of light are very personal and yet, there is only light. Everything else is secondary. Light blesses us now.
    LLL…Light, Life, Love.

  3. Jelenaon 20 Sep 2012 at 7:31 am

    I just received the Poetry for the Spirit book that features on your Chaikhana website. I am delighted. Jelena.

  4. Pegon 20 Sep 2012 at 8:53 am

    Fall is the time I go to this place of light and silence. I can’t help it. There is something that draws me and I “lean into the wind” and as you say Ivan, the breath of poetry. Beautiful and wonderful! Thank you for the poem “What is light?”

    So much of my life is time spent on being stuck on how to express the deeply spiritual aspects of myself, in finding that outlet that lets the breath of my spirit seek its vocalization. For years now, it is so difficult to put this into words even though I wrote poetry for many years and still do.

    I listened to your interview and I was so touched by your poem “Bent.” Thank you! Dana Gioia wrote a wonderful essay “Can Poetry Matter?” that you probably have read. If not, it is available on his website.

    Love and light…

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