In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood–
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks–is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is–
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Theodore Roethke


Inner Dialog about use of poem

:You can’t use this poem. It’s the name of Loren’s weblog.

:But it’s the perfect poem for the photograph.

:In a Dark Time is the name of Loren’s weblog.

:In a Dark Time is the name of the poem.

:Which came first – the poem or the weblog.

:The poem.

:No, no, no! Which did you discover first? The weblog or the poem?

:Oh. <pause> But he likes deer.

:Oh. <pause> Okay, then. But what if he doesn’t like the photo?

:Tough cookies.

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