MORE MADNESS PLAY IN THE POETRY BRACKET: ROETHKE’S FOE 19TH CENTURY POET CORNELIUS MATTHEWS

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The poet Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)

The American poet, Cornelius Mathews, has made his way into the Scarriet 2017 March Madness Tournament (immortalizing him forever) by way of a notice by Edgar Poe, who otherwise thought his poetry (at least in a review of Mathews’ long poem, Wakondah) was “trash.”

But this line, as Poe has pointed out, is sublime:

Green dells that into silence stretch away

makes for a very strong entry by the obscure poet Cornelius Mathews, who wrote romances, as well.

We are not sure how to approach this line.  The crowds cheering for it are certainly vociferous and rowdy.  What can one say about this line, except to cheer exuberantly and exultantly, and hope the author wins?

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow

Is a somewhat famous 20th century line by Theodore Roethke, a large man, a manic sufferer, a formalist, less urbane than Robert Lowell—Roethke’s father was a German immigrant who owned a green house.  Roethke is the author of a few “hit” poems: “Papa’s Waltz,” “In A Dark Time,” “Elegy for Jane,” and “I Knew A Woman.”  We love these poems. Roethke is a very, very fine poet.

The Roethke fans are screaming loudly, as well.

And the game is played.

The picturesqueness of the Mathews blows away the bloated, faux-mystical, egotistical, oration of the Roethke.

Can it be any wonder that

Green dells that into silence stretch away

wins?

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