A Light Breather.


The spirit moves,
Yet stays:
Stirs as a blossom stirs,
Still wet from its bud-sheath,
Slowly unfolding,
Turning in the light with its tendrils;
Plays as a minnow plays,
Tethered to a limp weed, swinging,
Tail around, nosing in and out of the current,
Its shadows loose, a watery finger;
Moves, like the snail,
Still inward,
Taking and embracing its surroundings,
Never wishing itself away,
Unafraid of what it is,
A music in a hood,
A small thing,

Theodore Roethke, from The Waking (1953; first in The Kenyon Review, Summer 1950).


  1. David Eddyshaw says

    Yes indeed.

  2. Thank you.

  3. The snail flower. I am not allowed to comment on English poetry, but this is “yes thank you indeed”.

  4. Yes.

  5. Thank you and thank you.

  6. Well chosen. Thank you.

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