Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

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.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1970 Patrick J. Stricklett.