"The Waking" is a poem written by Theodore Roethke in 1953 in the form of a villanelle. It is a self-reflexive poem that describes waking up from sleep. It comments on the unknowable with a contemplative tone. It also has been interpreted as comparing life to waking and death to sleeping.
In popular culture
- The poem appears as an object in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
- An excerpt of the poem also appears at the beginning of Dean Koontz's novel Odd Hours.
- Kurt Elling sings the poem on his 2007 album Nightmoves.
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