Image by University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, MPH328

Child on Top of a Greenhouse

Theodore Roethke


Child on Top of a Greenhouse

Theodore Roethke


Poem introduction

The second book had to do with some 'Prelude' poems about a greenhouse that I grew up around. That's a metaphor - I mean my unconscous is going to be (?) It's terribly labyrinthine the whole process. One called 'Child on Top of a Greenhouse'.

Child on Top of a Greenhouse

Child on Top of a Greenhouse

The wind billowing out the seat of my britches,
My feet crackling splinters of glass and dried putty,
The half-grown chrysanthemums staring up like accusers,
Up through the streaked glass, flashing with sunlight,
A few white clouds all rushing eastward,
A line of elms plunging and tossing like horses,
And everyone, everyone pointing up and shouting!


'Child on Top of a Greenhouse', copyright 1946 by Editorial Publications. from The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (Doubleday, 1966/Faber, 1968), used by permission of the publisher, Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. The recording was made in the 1950s at the YMHA Poetry Center, New York, NY, and is used by permission of the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and is used with permission of the Library of Congress.

Recordings

Books by Theodore Roethke