The Letter Project

November 12, 2009

Special Delivery (35, 36, 37, 38)

Filed under: Mailart — Theresa Williams @ 12:23 am
Tags: , ,
Nov. 12

To Judi Heartsong

Nov. 12 003

To Ryan Wilson

Nov. 12 002

To R. J. Equality Ingram

Nov. 12 001

To Zach Tarvin

Each year I make it point to remember November 12–the date that the poet Theodore Roethke took a walk in the cold Michigan woods, lost a shoe, and later said he’d been searching for the “secret of Nijinsky.” 

This year I mark the date by sending  four hand-made cards  to four creative people … Judi, an artist in MD; Ryan, a poet and college instructor in Georgia; R. J. a young student with whom I recently had a discussion about Vaslav Nijinsky; and Zach, a senior writing major at BGSU.

I remember November 12 because it represents the moment in Roethke’s life when everything changed.  The incident might have destroyed him and perhaps it nearly did, but he continued to make spiritual progress  in his life through his poems.  He inspires me because of  his willingness to lean to new beginnings, no matter how frightful.    –TW

“We think by feeling.  What is there to know?”  –Theodore Roethke

November when we pray for the dead
For souls not quite risen, or drawn too
Closely to the pull of the earth – reluctant to
Cast away ties so carefully woven.
–Marian Veverka, from the online journal, Pirene’s Fountain


  1. This is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time.

    Comment by Yours, Agatha — November 13, 2009 @ 1:34 am | Reply

    • What a lovely comment. Thank you. Perhaps you would like to join us at The Letter Project by sending something along? We would love that!

      Comment by Theresa Williams — November 13, 2009 @ 1:43 am | Reply

  2. I am floored by the line,’what is there to know’ by Roethke.

    Comment by Aliashesh — November 13, 2009 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

    • That is from his poem, “The Waking.” I have a recording of him reciting this poem. Amazing. Right now his North American Sequence entrances me.

      Comment by Theresa Williams — November 13, 2009 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks, Theresa. I read through the postings on the Letter Project. I will attempt a letter to Dr. Larry Smith, professor emeritus at BGSU & founder of the Firelands Writing Center. He is the only person I can think of that I could write about writers & writing.
    This may take a while, but meantime I am reading the older posts which are helpful & entertaining.

    Comment by Marian Veverka — November 14, 2009 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

    • A wonderful idea, Marian! I look forward to receiving it. Thank you for permission to use a portion of your beautiful poem here at The Letter Project.

      Comment by Theresa Williams — November 14, 2009 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

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