Northwest Schools of Literature: Texts

8. Carolyn Kizer, “A Poet's Household”

Carolyn Kizer, "A Poet's Household," in Midnight Was My Cry: New and Selected Poems (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1971), 105.

Three for Theodore Roethke

The stout poet tiptoes
On the lawn. Surprisingly limber
In his thick sweater
Like a middle-aged burglar.
Is the young robin injured?

She bends to feed the geese
Revealing the neck’s white curve
Below her coiled hair.
Her husband seems not to watch,
But she shimmers in his poem.

A hush is on the house,
The only noise, a fern
Rustling in a vase.
On the porch, the fierce poet
Is chanting words to himself.

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