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Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1908. As a child,...
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On Poetry and Craft [excerpt]

by Theodore Roethke

The poem, even a short time after being written, 
seems no miracle; unwritten, it seems 
something beyond the capacity of the gods.


Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of 
haste. It's what everything else isn't.


You can't make poetry simply by avoiding clichés.


There's a point where plainness is no longer a virtue, 
when it becomes excessively bald, wrenched.

You must believe: a poem is a holy thing -- a good poem, 
that is.

From On Poetry and Craft: Selected Prose of Theodore Roethke; reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2000. All rights reserved.
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