“Long Live the Weeds”

About this time of year I always remember this poem by Theodore Roethke:


Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm! –
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked, and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit,
Hope, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.

I’ll have to admit, though, that at times I’ve wondered if Roethke wrote this poem in the middle of winter, when real weeds had long since gone dormant.

It’s hard to feel quite this upbeat about weeds the next morning when you wonder if you’re going to be able to get out of bed, much less attack the weeds for a second day in a row.

One thought on ““Long Live the Weeds””

  1. I know what you mean Loren – I’ve been landscaping the back yard and these old bones are having difficulty getting the motivation to continue on the really big job that remains as they hurt, 🙂

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