Theodore Roethke was an American poet who published several volumes of influential and critically acclaimed verse. He is widely regarded as among the most accomplished and influential poets of his generation.
Roethke's work is characterized by its introspection, rhythm and natural imagery. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book, The Waking, and he won the annual National Book Award for Poetry twice, in 1959 for Words for the Wind and posthumously in 1965 for The Far Field.
In the November 1968 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, former U.S. Poet Laurete and author James Dickey wrote Roethke was: "...in my opinion the greatest poet this country has yet produced."
In 2012, he was featured on a United States postage stamp as one of ten great 20th Century American poets.
All finite things reveal infinitude: The mountain withi its singular bright shade Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow, The after-light upon ice-burdened pines; Odor of basswood upon a mountain slope, A scene beloved of bees; Silence of water above a sunken tree: The pure serene of memory of one man,-- A ripple widening from a single stone Winding around the waters of the world.