Dolor: the Waking and Poem

Topics: The Waking, Theodore Roethke, Pulitzer Prize Pages: 2 (506 words) Published: December 1, 2011
The meaning for Dolor in the English dictionary stands for grief, pain, distress and sadness; meanwhile in Spanish it stands for hurt. Theodore Roethke who lived from May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963 was an American poet, who published several volumes of poetry characterized by its rhythm and natural imagery. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book, The Waking. ( One of his poems that seems very personal, is his poem “Dolor“, which he had written in 1943.

Both the English and Spanish definition of dolor greatly describe the theme and mood of Theodore Roethke’s poem. Not only does he use the word dolor for his title but as well in line two, referring to the “Dolor of pad and paper weight.” Through out his poem he gives off in great detail the constant mood he is in. He makes you feel his bored, angry, and negative attitude towards this monotonous environment in which he is surrounded by on what seems to be a daily basis. Theodore Roethke also utilizes words such as sadness, misery, and lonely to express his feelings of this boring institution that he talks about in line three, five, seven and nine. In order for him to make his readers feel this anger and distress, he has used a great amount of symbolism and personification.

I feel as if Theodore Roethke is discussing is outlook on life in a office building, or a school institution. However he does mention himself seeing “dust from the walls institutions,” in line 9 which makes me believe he is writing this from his perspective. His many uses of adjectives throughout his poem, allows for readers to envision this place in which he is describing to us. I believe that he is fed up and bored with these institutions and the monotonous environment they create. I feel he believes these environments are creating boring and dull individuals who seem to be all the same. What you will also notice while reading this poem, is that lines eight and five are ended with periods,...
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