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The Waking
The Waking
by Theodore Roethke


We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(6) Tree Line

This may be a short poem, with two of the lines repeated, but you’ll find the slopes a bit steep as you climb “the winding stair” that takes you where you have to go. Paradoxes and ambiguity make the going a little rough, but the simple language and the strong rhythms will help calm your nerves until you make it to the top and exclaim “God Bless the Ground!” Along with the speaker, you can “walk softly there,” and with a great view of life, death, and everything to reward you.

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