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
- from The Waking by Theodore Roethke
I discovered this poem recently, thanks to a song. Norbert Leo Butz included a cover of the song on his album Memory & Mayhem: Live at 54 Below.(1) I then looked up the original version, sung by Kurt Elling. Then from there I discovered it was based on a poem by Theodore Roethke.
Read the entire poem here.
Watch Kurt Elling perform the song live.
(1) I highly recommend that album. I recommend anything and everything sung by Norbert Leo Butz.
Norbert's newest project is the Broadway musical Big Fish, based on the novel by Daniel Wallace. His credits include the role of Fiyero in the original cast of Wicked, which was based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. So, you see, this all leads back to books.(2)
...but if you want me to, I can talk about Jason Robert Brown's musical The Last Five Years as performed by Norbert Leo Butz and Lauren Kennedy for a really, really long time. Just ask me about it. :)
(2) The Waking poem was referenced in Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Dean Koontz's novel Odd Hours, and other works. I highly recommend the trilogy The Waking by Christopher Golden / Thomas Randall. That doesn't refer to the poem, but since it has the same title, I couldn't help but think of it and take the opportunity to recommend it again!
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