The Guest

Nothing is changed: against the dining-room windows hard grains of whirling snow still beat. I am what I was, but a man came to me. “What do you want?” I asked. “To be with you in hell,” he said. I laughed. “It’s plain …

The Testing-Tree

I. On my way home from school    up tribal Providence Hill    past the Academy ballpark where I could never hope to play    I scuffed in the drainage-ditch    among the sodden seethe of leaves hunting for perfect stones    rolled out of glacial time …

River Road

That year of the cloud, when my marriage failed, I slept in a chair, by the flagstone hearth, Fighting my sleep, And one night saw a Hessian soldier Stand at attention in full Regalia, till his head broke into flames. My only other callers …

Theodore Roethke

The poet of my generation who meant most to me, in his person and in his art, was Theodore Roethke. To say, in fact, “poet of my generation” is to name him, Immediately after Eliot and Pound and Hart Crane and Stevens and William Carlos Williams, to mention only a …