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Theodore Roethke was born on May 25 1908 in Saginaw Michigan He was born to Otto and Helen Huebner Roethke In 1872 Roethkes father and grandfather emigrated from Germany This is where Roethkes grandfather and father bought 22 acres of land and started a market garden After making enough money they bought a greenhouse In 1906 Roethkes father married Helen Huebner also a German immigrant This led to the birth of Theodore While growing up Roethke helped his father out in the greenhouse taking care of the flowers While working with plants and nature this deeply affected him as we see it in his poetry From all this time working with his dad Roethke gets one of his major ideas for writing poetry One poem we can see this in is CHILD ON TOP OF A GREENHOUSE 1948 The wind billowing out the seat of my britchesMy feet crackling splinters of glass and dried puttyThe half-grown chrysanthemums staring up like accusersUp through the streaked glass flashing with sunlightA few white clouds all rush eastwardA line of elms plunging and tossing like horsesAnd everyone everyone pointing up and shouting 1-6 This poem it seems is from Roethkes own experiences The poem is about Roethke as a child sitting on top of a greenhouse giving us a description of the greenhouse and the nature around him In line five Roethke also gives us a sample of how he uses comparisons to describe nature This gives a person a better vision of the object or motion he is writing aboutWhen Roethke was a teenager his father died This didnt seem to affect him a lot but through his poetry we can see different His poetry about his father seems to be of two minds and to have deeply affected him It seems that Roethkes father put him down when he failed to live up to the expectations On the positive side of things Roethke loved the way
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