Theodore Roethke: A Brief Biography

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“Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley” ("Theodore Roethke Quotes."). This quote by Theodore Roethke demonstrates his persistence and his determined mindset that helped Roethke throughout his difficult life. Theodore Roethke did not grow up expecting to become a major American poet. He intended to become a lawyer, however during college Roethke discovered that being a lawyer was not the right profession for him. It was at this time that he came to realize his love for poetry. Roethke wrote many of his poems based on past experiences such as “Child on Top of a Greenhouse” which is based on his childhood experiences. Theodore Roethke, both an emotional and philosophical poet, was influenced by many other poets and his own past experiences in order to develop his poems which shared many ideas on the significance of life.
Theodore Roethke was an American poet whose lifetime experiences influenced many of his poetic works. Theodore Roethke was born on May 25, 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan, United States. Roethke stayed in Michigan for his childhood and college years. He died on August 01, 1963 in Bainbridge Isle, Washington, United States (“Theodore Roethke.” Contemporary). Roethke lived in recent times and this is reflected in his contemporary poems which use modern language and linguistic devices. Roethke lived in Michigan until after attending the University of Michigan. After going to college at the University of Michigan, Roethke attended Harvard University, located in Massachusetts. Roethke planned on becoming a lawyer; however during college, Roethke discovered his deep admiration for poetry. Roethke’s career as a poet initially struggled and it wasn’t until 1953 that Roethke finally receiv...

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