My favorite Roethke poem--I measure time by how a body sways. Just wonderful!
Although I love his poetry, he always sounds a bit angry reading it.
Patti - Oh, this is great! I should read more of Roethke's work.
"My Papa's Waltz" is my favorite Roethke poem. The ambiguity always leaves my students scratching their heads. They remain uncertain about whether the poem's focus is a loving father and his son, or an abusive father and his son.BTW, IMHO, most poets are questionable readers of their own poems. Many good poets are fine writers but lousy readers and speakers.
Mine too, RT and I posted that one earlier with the interesting story of how two different people interpreted it very differently as you mention. And I totally agree about poets being poor performers. I have never heard one do justice to his work.
I would amend my critique of poets as readers by recalling recordings of Dylan Thomas. His singular style (when relatively sober) was compelling. His recording of Under Milk Wood still lingers in my mind. Some recordings of T. S. Eliot, on the other hand, reinforces my generalized critique. I have gone to a few poetry readings at my university, and I resolved after the last event that instead of enduring another event I would nearly prefer a root canal at the dentist. And here is my reaction to "open mike" events at local "coffee houses" -- I prefer the root canal without anesthesia.
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