Roethke, from ‘The Middle of a Roaring World’

To possess or be possessed by one’s own identity?
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The self, the anti-self in dire embrace.
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Instead of embracing God, he hugs himself.

~ Theodore Roethke, from The Middle of a Roaring World.

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Thoreau on the (Hu)man

“See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all day he fears, not being immortal or divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds.

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. . .

Think, also, of the ladies of the land weaving toilet cushions against the day, not to betray too green an interest in their fates! As if you could kill time without injuring eternity!”

~ Henry David Thoreau, on the (hu)man

A New Proposition


“Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure, but betting with your last cent… Faith is not a series of gilt-edged propositions that you sit down to figure out, and if you follow all the logic and accept all the conclusions, then you have it. It is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair…

Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night and then getting up and going to work…

Faith is thinking thoughts and singing songs and making poems in the lap of death.”


–Mary Jean Irion, 1970