It's a well known fact that Plath was greatly influenced by Roethke, especially his 'Greenhouse Poems' on which she based her sequence 'Poem for a Birthday', a pivotal turning point poem in her writing. I'm enjoying them and particularly interested in how he explores his personal themes, in part, through a kind of surreal personification of nature, something I've always enjoyed in Plath's writing. You can see this in Roethke's poem The Geranium and Plath's poem Poppies in July.
I was intrigued by this review of Stanley Kunitz's book The Wild Braid which mentions the influence of nature and Jungian symbolism in his writing. I love this quote from the book:
'The poem has to be saturated with impulse and that means getting down to the very tissue of experience. How can this element be absent from poetry without thinning out the poem? That is certainly one of the problems when making a poem is thought to be a rational production. The dominance of reason, as in eighteenth-century poetry, diminished the power of poetry. Reason certainly has its place, but it cannot be dominant. Feeling is far more important in the making of the poem. And the language itself has to be a sensuous instrument; it cannot be a completely rational one. In rhythm and sound, for example, language has the capacity to transcend reason; it’s all like erotic play.'Another book to add to the list of desirables!