Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Secret Knowledge

"All civilization is held together by a series of suggestions made by an invisible hypnotist, artificially created illusions. The knowledge of reality is always by some means or other a secret knowledge. It is a kind of death."—W. B. Yeats, Journal

Sunday was the 100th birthday of the great American poet Theodore Roethke. His hometown of Saginaw, Michigan held a celebration. His home is now a museum that can be visited online as well as in person. Here's an excerpt from one of his finest poems; the entire poem and others can be read at the museum website:

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!


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