How can a writer best discuss Theodore Roethke's work in terms of a common theme?
The common theme has to be good enough so that I can well explain it myself in the essay and it make sense. Theodore Roethke's poems are hard to explain in how they connect with his life- it doesn't make much sense to me, and I wouldn't even be able to explain it myself. Therefore, I'd like to know good themes in between them that'll make a pretty rich essay to write.
I think your best bet with Roethke is to stick to nature, because although it might seem obvious to some, his poems are inextricably bound with an appreciation for the natural world, no doubt cultivated (no pun intended) a great deal by his time spent as a child in the greenhouse owned by his parents and uncle. The approach I would take for this project would be to peruse some of Roethke's collections and look for themes from the natural world, which you can them begin to categorize. For example, one of my favorite Roethke poems is "The Storm," which could be the basis for a discussion of his poetry centered around the water found in rainstorms, oceans, lakes and seas. Another approach might be to focus on flowers and plants, where the greenhouse influence is most likely to surface, or living creatures as in "Snake".