Theodore Roethke Childhood Home/Theodore Roethe
Posted by: S5280ft
N 43° 24.885 W 083° 59.241
17T E 258143 N 4811209
Quick Description: On the south side of Gratiot Avenue between Sandra Court and Larch Streets. It is best to park on one of the nearby side streets.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 7/23/2006 11:45:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMJ1C
THEODORE ROETHKE CHILDHOOD HOME
Distinguished poet Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) was born in Saginaw and grew up in this house. The house was built around 1911 for his parents, Otto and Helen Roethke. Otto's brother Carl lived in the adjacent fieldstone house. Together, the brothers managed the William Roethke Floral Company, founded in the 1880s by their father, Wilhelm Roethke, a Prussian immigrant. The company's extensive greenhouses once stood on the land behind these two houses. Theodore worked in the greenhouses with his father and his experiences inspired many of his poems. Roethke attended local schools and the University of Michigan, obtaining a masters degree in literature in 1936, and he taught at universities throughout the country.
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) wrote of his poetry: The greenhouse "is my symbol for the whole of life, a womb, a heaven-on-earth." Roethke drew inspiration from his childhood experiences of working in his family's Saginaw floral company. Beginning in 1941 with Open House, the distinguished poet and teacher published extensively, receiving a Pulitzer Prize for poetry and two National Book Awards among an array of honors. In 1959, Yale University awarded him the prestigious Bollingen Prize. Roethke taught at Michigan State College (present-day Michigan State University) and at colleges in Pennsylvania and Vermont before joining the faculty of the University of Washington at Seattle in 1947. Roethke died in Washington in 1963. His remains are interred in Saginaw's Oakwood Cemetery.
Historical Name: Theodore Roethke
Parking nearby?: yes
website: [Web Link]
Registered Site #: State Site #669
Historical Date: Not listed
Description: Not listed
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