The Waking By Theodore Roethke: Poem Analysis

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The Waking by Theodore Roethke is a musical-themed poem. In addition, the book, Perrine’s Literature, states that it uses refrain which is when the “poet may repeat whole words, phrases, lines, or groups of lines […] in a fixed pattern” (Pg. 837). Due to the use of refrain, it made this poem even harder for me to decipher. However, after reading it several times, I came to the conclusion as to what the meaning of the poem might be, because Roethke is trying to show us that we as humans often follow a path not of our owns that is often pre-determined by our brains or other meanings. In addition, I found this poem to be relatable to me because of how I was in the past, and how I currently am in the present, and how I plan to change for the better in the future. Sometimes the path that we want to choose to follow is led off the road by something. In addition, this can be the result of an outside force telling us that we are not capable of doing the said-thing or something else. Conversely, this is the message that I kind of interpreted from Lines 4-7 when he…show more content…
My thought process for this was that I didn’t want to eventually go into a career that had no relation to my ambitions or talents. Roethke also had a similar awakening in his Poem. This awakening is evident in both the title of the poem, and in lines 10 to 11 when he states “Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how? The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair” (Roethke 10-11). What I perceived at what he meant by this was that the Tree had some relation to the narrator and the lighting could have been the spark that made him realize that he was not going in the correct path that he wanted to go into. In addition, I could also see the “lowly worm climbs up a winding stair” as the narrator going up the right path instead of the previous one being the wrong
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