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I Knew A Woman

Written by: Theodore Roethke | Biography
 | Quotes (10) |
 I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.
) How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin, She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and stand; She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin: I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand; She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake, Coming behind her for her pretty sake (But what prodigious mowing did we make.
) Love likes a gander, and adores a goose: Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; She played it quick, she played it light and loose; My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees; Her several parts could keep a pure repose, Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose (She moved in circles, and those circles moved.
) Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: I'm martyr to a motion not my own; What's freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days? These old bones live to learn her wanton ways: (I measure time by how a body sways.
)



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