Explication of “The Waking” 1Explication of “The Waking”Amber SpauldingEnglish 2 Assignment 1James Madison High School
Explication of “The Waking” 2Explication of “The Waking”The Waking is an enigmatic villanelle written in 1953, a year after Theodore Roethke got married. In itthe poet puts fourth various ideas about life and how to live it, all within the traditional rhyming andiambic pentameter form. Theodore Roethke, hardly fits anyone’s image of the stereotypical high-minded poet of the 1940s through 1960s. Theodore Roethkes poetry is know for its exploration of onesself through reflection on family and nature. His mental illness also caused him to look in to thedarkness from time to time, recording his inner life in personal poems. Growing up he spent much ofhis time with his father's garden and greenhouses and soil and plants and roots and things often turn upin his work. The waking contains a lot of symbolism and takes the reader into unexpected places; inboth introspective and positive in its outlook.