Night Journey by Theodore Roethke

Night Journey

Now as the train bears west,
Its rhythm rocks the earth,
And from my Pullman berth
I stare into the night
While others take their rest.
Bridges of iron lace,
A suddenness of trees,
A lap of mountain mist
All cross my line of sight,
Then a bleak wasted place,
And a lake below my knees.
Full on my neck I feel
The straining at a curve;
My muscles move with steel,
I wake in every nerve.
I watch a beacon swing
From dark to blazing bright;
We thunder through ravines
And gullies washed with light.
Beyond the mountain pass
Mist deepens on the pane;
We rush into a rain
That rattles double glass.
Wheels shake the roadbed stone,
The pistons jerk and shove,
I stay up half the night
To see the land I love

Theodore Roethke 1908-1963

Theodore Roethke
Born: 25 May 1908, Michigan, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 1 August 1963, Washington, USA

Roethke was a highly regarded poet considered to be one of the most accomplished poets of his generation. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book “The Waking”, and the National Book Award for Poetry on two occasions: in 1959 for “Words for the Wind” and posthumously in 1965 for “The Far Field”. Roethke’s work is characterized by introspection, natural imagery, and rhythm

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