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Elegy For Jane
(1908 - 1963 / Michigan / United States)

Elegy For Jane

Poem By Theodore Roethke

(My student, thrown by a horse)

I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
And how, once started into talk, the light syllables leaped for her.
And she balanced in the delight of her thought,
A wren, happy, tail into the wind,
Her song trembling the twigs and small branches.
The shade sang with her;
The leaves, their whispers turned to kissing,
And the mould sang in the bleached valleys under the rose.

Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
Even a father could not find her:
Scraping her cheek against straw,
Stirring the clearest water.
My sparrow, you are not here,
Waiting like a fern, making a spiney shadow.
The sides of wet stones cannot console me,
Nor the moss, wound with the last light.

If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter,
Neither father nor lover.

User Rating: 3,9 / 5 ( 36 votes ) 11

Comments (11)

Loves student motherfaq
Sadly, just read about this poet, that he already died in the sixties.....and no wonder he was loved and read by so many...
Your poem is touching all my heartstrings. It has beautiful images that convey deep feelings. Thank you so much for sharing... Scharlie
If only I could nudge you from this sleep, My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon. Over this damp grave.... //.... It is so emotional. To recall the images of a small daughter who is no more. RIP, Jane.
this is so good. peace/////////


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