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?The Apparition? By Roethke Essay, Research Paper

The theme of love is a prevalent one in many poems. A universal feeling, love is inevitably present in the works of quite a few poets, even those whose subject matter would not seem to include this theme. In Roethke’s “The Apparition” , the pervading theme of love will be discussed. Theodore Roethke’s love poem “The Apparition”, is quite a different matter. There could not possibly be any mistaken sentiment in this work. Roethke’s poems were generally sincere and direct. “The Apparition” is no exception. It tells of love and love lost all in one fell swoop, and there can be no mistaking the passion Roethke meant in this poem. The following lines illustrate this point well: “…Who took my heart, whole, / With a tilt of his eye,/ And with it, my soul,/ And it like to die.” Anyone can tell that these are the words of a lovestruck soul. In the next stanza, though, the writer has already been heartbroken: “I twist, and I turn,/ My breath but a sigh./ Dare I grieve? Dare I mourn? / He walks by. He walks by.” The writer apparently believed in falling in and out of love fairly quickly. The first two stanzas of the poem show a person who falls in love at the mere sight of someone walking by. The last stanza finds that same person at the point of being traumatized simply because the walker has gone on, supposedly to bigger and better things than the writer. This poem illustrates the sincerity and directness with which Roethke crafted his works. Its content cannot be confused with some emotion other than love and/or infatuation. Indeed, the poem’s message is clear: love may come swiftly, and the chance to love may be gone before it was ever even realized. Roethke, in his obvious unique style, has sufficiently conveyed to the readers his interpretation of love and of being in love. Whether it be for a few short moments or whether the love was never even there, this work itself speaks strong emotions nevertheless. The work, whatever meaning it may have had for Roethke, is rarely ever the same for the reader. Love is the subject; it is our duty to interpret it as we wish.

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