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Straw for the Fire

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  9 reviews

“There are only two passions in art; there are love and hate—with endless modifications.”—Theodore Roethke

At his death, Theodore Roethke left behind 277 spiral notebooks full of poetry fragments, aphorisms, jokes, memos, journal entries, random phrases, bits of dialogue, commentary, and fugitive miscellany. Within these notebooks, Roethke allowed his mind to rove freely,

Paperback, 264 pages
Published February 1st 1974 by Doubleday Books
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Feb 09, 2011 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who neurotically save every scrap of paper
Shelves: poetry
Don't get this from the library. It is fun to dip into. There are some wonderful lines. But trying to read straight through a massive collection of fragments that another (*cough*lesstalented*cough*) poet has arranged to sort of form poems is a tad wearisome. My mind kept trying to form connections and meanings that weren't there.
My favorite poet by far. I got this book as a gift when I was 16, and and used at least three of his poems as inspiration for my creative writing classes. His poems are beautiful and, though many poets write about nature, his are original, and use techniques (his use of villanelles and beats per lines especially) that make his poems all the more memorable. This book also includes pages from his notebooks, and though it's quite hard to read some of his handwriting, it's very interesting because y ...more
"From Roethke to Goethe isn't really so far// Put a capital G in the capital R --// then knock out small /k/, a quite simple thing -- and you've got a fat cat fixed up like a king."
Exhilarating, complex poetry and comments organized by mood or tone. Like so many suffering from bipolar illness, Roethke poised on the edge of chaos, channels his visceral perceptions and visions into words which ring like church bells, announcing eternal truths.

Oct 22, 2008 Jude rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jude by: the ghost of owens
this was one of the first HARDBACKS i ever bought, the year it came out. it was a big deal.
and my first Roethke - read so often that sections of it feel like a stretched and scattered poem swirling into cohesion. i cannot imagine reading him without meeting the man in these jewels from his notebooks
Oct 05, 2011 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Issa's Untidy Hut Blog
I'll be dabbling in and in and in this stimulating collection of tibits from Roaethke's notebooks for days and weeks to come. Helps me make sense of my own journals and how I am drawn back into them again and again, like panning for the impossibly tiny flake of gold in the mud.
It's not always as good, and there's many things I see differently than Roethke, yet there's still so much beauty in this book and at more than one place it reminded me of Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet.
Although this is a collection of fragments, it is a necessary companion to the collected poems of Roethke. I find myself reading it more often then the published poems!
Johnny Trash
Notes culled from the hundreds of notebooks and journals Roethke kept. Little morsels of genius and silliness that will help you become a better poet.
roethke's poetry is mesmerizing. at times he sounds like a hebrew prophet born again in middle america's red states.
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Theodore Huebner Roethke was an American poet, who published several volumes of poetry characterized by its rhythm and natural imagery. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book, The Waking. Roethke wrote of his poetry: The greenhouse "is my symbol for the whole of life, a womb, a heaven-on-earth." Roethke drew inspiration from his childhood experiences of working in his fa ...more
More about Theodore Roethke...
The Collected Poems Selected Poems The Far Field Words for the Wind: The Collected Verse On Poetry and Craft: Selected Prose

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