From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Elegy for Jane

Elegy for Jane


by Theodore Roethke

Elegy for Jane Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Heads up Shmoopers—it's about to get technical up in here. But never fear, Shmoop has a wicked good decoder ring.A traditional elegy is written in elegiac stanzas, often in lines of iambic pentam...


It's usually a good idea to consider a poem's speaker separately from the poet. However, in this case, there is no reason to believe the speaker is anyone other than the Roethke himself. Roethke wa...


We don't really get a clear sense of where the speaker is until the poem's final stanza, so it's pretty easy to overlook setting in this one. That said, don't overlook the setting in this one. Know...

Sound Check

Roethke is a real rhythm master and he wrote many poems following strict forms. Despite the fact that "Elegy for Jane" is written in free verse, his ability to subtly manipulate sound and tempo is...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of this one seems pretty straightforward, initially. The word "elegy" is right in the title and it lets the reader know that the poem is going to be a remembrance of someone or something...

Calling Card

Roethke was a nature lover and his poems are filled with the stuff. There are the things you'd expect: birds, trees, flowers and the like. But his poems also employ the less poeticized, less sentim...


This is a pretty straightforward climb, but beware—even though the altitude probably won't be a problem, it's easy to get lost in the forest of figurative language and veer off the trail.


Tennis anyone? At Penn State, Roethke taught poetry AND coached the tennis team. (Source.) Here's a band with a song inspired by Roethke, the tennis-playing poet. (Source.) Roethke had a lot to say...

Steaminess Rating

Roethke is capable of some steaminess, but this one isn't going to fog any windows.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...