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.

by Theodore Roethke

Comments (7)

A beautiful, moving poem. Love it [3
Nice poem, I liked the words. Buzz buzz
nice poem, brilliant wit display a better picture of pure poetry
I've read this over serval times...I enjoy surveying other folks darkness, I suppose because so much of my own work dwells in dark places too. With each reading I pick up one or two additional nuances to where Roethkes darkness lies...I'd like to ask if I am correct in my thinking here. But, alas, can not because Ted is dead. So it goes...
.........excellent lines ★ A man goes far to find out what he is- Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
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