I Knew A Woman Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I knew a woman lovely in her bonesA
When small birds sighed she would sigh back at themB
Ah when she moved she moved more ways than oneC
The shapes a bright container can containD
Of her choice virtues only gods should speakE
Or English poets who grew up on GreekE
I'd have them sing in a chorus cheek to cheekE
How well her wishes went She stroked my chinF
She taught me Turn and Counter turn and StandG
She taught me Touch that undulant white skinF
I nibbled meekly from her proferred handG
She was the sickle I poor I the rakeH
Coming behind her for her pretty sakeH
But what prodigious mowing we did makeH
Love likes a gander and adores a gooseI
Her full lips pursed the errant notes to siezeI
She played it quick she played it light and looseI
My eyes they dazzled at her flowing kneesI
Her several parts could keep a pure reposeI
Or one hip quiver with a mobile noseI
She moved in circles and those circles movedJ
Let seed be grass and grass turn into hayK
I'm martyr to a motion not my ownL
What's freedom for To know eternityM
I swear she cast a shadow white as stoneL
But who would count eternity in daysI
These old bones live to learn her wanton waysI
I measure time by how a body swaysI

Theodore Roethke


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