“I Learn by Going Where I Have to Go.” {Video} ~ Edith Lazenby

Via Edie Lazenby
on Jan 8, 2013
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Source: Uploaded by user via Jody on Pinterest

A Poem Stands to Shine a Light in the Shadows of Any Era.

This is a classic, a poem I always return to and love to share.

One of the marks of a great poem is it speaks in ways that makes us each feel as though the poem was meant only for me, or you. Its truth stands beyond the confines of time or limits of a generation.

Some say a poem is always open for interpretation. There is truth to that. What I glean and what you experience are different, but a poem must have, at the core, an essence that goes even beyond you or me; it must stand in the light and shadow of what we know as humanity and lift us above even our own hearts.

What is the writer’s intention? Who knows and honestly, I have to say, who cares? I write and more often than not I don’t know what my conscious intention is and I cannot always paraphrase poetry into prose to lend it meaning because that is why it is a poem.

So this poem is one of my all-time favorites. Like many of his era, he suffered with alcoholism and manic depression without the insight we have today with how drugs [yes, drugs] can help.

He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for his book, The Waking. Enjoy.

The Waking

By Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.




EdieI am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was nine years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write because I love it. I teach because I love it. I tell my students all the time: do it because you can. That works for me. I believe in creating opportunity. I believe in helping my self and others. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate. Check out my blog and website here..

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 Ed: Brianna Bemel


About Edie Lazenby

Edith Lazenby's first love is poetry. Her second is yoga. Life unrolls in ways she could have never have imagined. She loves to love and live life daringly. Leap and the net will appear is how the saying goes but they don't tell you what to do after it disappears. Edith lives in Baltimore with her cat, Cucumber. She works all the time, it seems, these days. Life is good. Blessings are many.


2 Responses to ““I Learn by Going Where I Have to Go.” {Video} ~ Edith Lazenby”

  1. […] flesh and dreams turned phantom from all that trying. forever the poetry of it: how delicate we are, & the texture of wordless […]

  2. Greg says:

    Classic poem! Roethke suffered <a title="manic depressive" href="http://www.manicdepressiontreatment.net/">manic depressive bouts, and was a heavy drinker during his time.