Sunday, June 09, 2019

Theodore Roethke: "Night Crow"

Some of you know that I'm writing a paper on Milton and MacLeish concerning bird imagery in Genesis and in religious poetry. As I was reflecting on this sort of imagery, I suddenly recalled a poem by that oldtimer, Theodore Roethke:
Night Crow
When I saw that clumsy crow
Flap from a wasted tree,
A shape in the mind rose up:
Over the gulfs of dream
Flew a tremendous bird
Further and further away
Into a moonless black,
Deep in the brain, far back.
Something mythic in there . . .



At 10:50 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

I like the way he mentions "brain." Arguably, he anticipates the contemporary investigations of neuroscience and literature. Are there other bird-brain mentions in Roethke's oeuvre?

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I like the brain, too. That image works far better than I would have imagined.

Also, I know nothing more of bird-brained images.

Jeffery Hodges

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