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He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.A CONVERSATION WITH THE EDITOR: How to pronounce Roethke. For years, I've said, "Ret-key," only to be corrected, politely, by a fellow-conversationalist's saying, "Ruth-key" or "Roth-key." I asked Mr. " "Some people say 'Ruth-key.' Maybe it's where you grew up, or how you hear it, I always called it 'Rud-key.' But I know some people call him 'Ruth-key.' I'd better check.The dogs are clapt and urged to join the fray; The badger turns and drives them all away. I think she's a clear influence on Roethke also in the way she structured a poem." Hirsch writes in his introduction that Roethke "loved the catchy, strongly stressed rhythms of children's verse." "You really hear those rhythms in the poems," Mr. "You can hear it in his work." "And in his own life," I said, "he was in many ways a big, chubby child." "A big bear of a man," Mr.
In the words of editor Edward Hirsch, "He courted the irrational and embraced what is most vulnerable in life." Hirsch's selection and perceptive introduction illuminate the daring and intensity of a poet who, in poems such as "My Papa's Waltz" and "The Lost Son," reached back into the abyss of childhood in an attempt to wrest self-knowledge out of memory.
Roethke's true subject was the unfathomable depths of his own being, but his existential investigations were always shaped and disciplined by an exacting formal stringency, as equally at ease with Yeats's vigorous cadence ("Four for Sir John Davies") as with the spacious Whitmanian idiom on display in the virtuoso efforts of This gathering of Roethke's works also includes several of his poems for children, and a generous sampling from his notebook writings, offering a glimpse of the poet at work with the raw materials of language and ideas.
I think that he put himself to school on other poets. His relationship to her and to Auden and to others was important to him.
There was an element in his friendships, especially with those who were older than he was, of the student to teacher or apprentice to the master." We talked a bit about Roethke's social difficulties, among them his tendency, at social gatherings, to get drunk and provoke fights. And he seemed most uncomfortable when he "went East" and roistered among the East Coast poetry and academic mandarinate. Hirsch offered, "There's a kind of innocence about him and also a kind of outsiderness.
Hirsch was offered several poets about whom to write for the American Poets Projects series. "I think he's a major romantic American poet who's been neglected. Yet he's of tremendous importance as a poet, also he's had tremendous influence on other poets. Somehow he hasn't been picked up by critical theorists.
His work is underappreciated, and it seemed of real importance to try and bring him back into the discussion about poetry." I asked if the late James Merrill had left money in his estate to pay for the books published by the Library of America's American Poets Project.
I think that his anxiety was such that he often got drunk and acted badly at such parties.
I think he never felt comfortable in those circles." "The East Coast folks," I said, "seemed never to accept and like Roethke in the way, as an instance, they did Robert Lowell." "I think that's actually right.
Except for Auden, who was a great fan of Roethke's.
Auden was best man at Roethke's wedding, and he gave him his house in Austria for his honeymoon.