Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Richard McLellan
In a panel discussion on “Identity” at Northwestern University in February of 1963, Theodore Roethke listed the major themes of his poetry; (1) the multiplicity, the chaos of modern life; (2) the way, the means of establishing a personal identity, a self, in the face of that chaos; (3) the nature of creation, that faculty for producing order out of disorder in the arts, particularly in poetry; and (4) the nature of God himself. The two major experimental sequences of poetry in Roethke’s career, included in The Lost Some and Other Poems (1948) and Praise to the End! (1951) are particularly representative of the above themes. They may be read as a psychological and spiritual quest for personal identity, an identity, for Roethke, absolutely essential in the face of the chaos of modern life.
Stricklett, Patrick J., "The psychological and spiritual quest for personal identity in the poetry of Theodore Roethke" (1970). Student Work. 3271.