Colorado Center for the Blind
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Poetry in Philosophy Class

Josie Mills

Josie Mills

Thanks to Josie Mills, chair of the Arapahoe Community College’s English Department. She came to philosophy class today to discuss John Milton’s poem, “On His Blindness.” Though almost everyone was new to this poem, there were a lot of very thoughtful responses.

Maybe the best part of class for many, judging by the hush in the room when she finished reading it, came when Josie shared one of her favorite poems, which appears below:

The Waking

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,
And learn by going where I have to go.

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.

— Theodore Roethke

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1 Comment

  1. May 10, 2017    

    “I learn by going where I have to go”. This line speaks so many volumes to me on a personal level. I absolutely love philosophical poetry and I wish many other people did as well. This not only is something to read and comprehend but to use it as words of wisdom in your life. I have learned so much by living life and going through its hardships, this quote truly embodies that experience.

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