“The Sloth” by Theodore Roethke (Favorite Poem Project)


“The Sloth” by Theodore Roethke. In moving slow he has no Peer. / You ask him something in his Ear, / He thinks about it for a Year; / And, then, before he says a Word / There, upside down (unlike a Bird), / He will assume that you have Heard / A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug. / But should you call his manner Smug, / He’ll sigh and give his Branch a Hug; / Then off again to Sleep he goes, / Still swaying gently by his Toes, / And you just know he knows he knows. / (upbeat music) I’m Katherine Mechling, I’m eleven years old, I live in Lexington, Massachusetts, and I’m in the fifth grade. I do soccer and softball (piano) and piano (wheels hitting pavement) and trombone (trombone) I do dancing. I do singing at my church like a choir. And I used to do horseback riding but I don’t anymore. “You have band practice this week, Katherine.” “I can like never go to that because of piano.” (piano being played) “Bye bye.” A lot of kids like the same kinds of things as me and have busy schedules. It’s always nice to get to the weekend. (children’s voices) I like to write poetry because well for the same reason as I like to read it cause I just like finding words that are like, you know… interesting and fit well together. I think it just lets your like imagination just sorta like flow anywhere. “The Sloth” by Theordore Roethke. In moving slow he has no Peer. /
You ask him something in his Ear, / He thinks about it for a Year; / And, then, before he says a Word / There, upside down (unlike a Bird), / He will assume that you have Heard— / A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug. / But should you call his manner Smug, /
He’ll sigh and give his Branch a Hug; / Then off again to Sleep he goes, / Still swaying gently by his Toes, / And you just know he knows he knows. / I think it’s kind of funny in a way because you can picture this sloth you know and you ask something to him and like he’s hanging there upside down and he thinks about it for a year and he doesn’t say anything to you but he assumes that you’ve heard what he said. But he really hasn’t said anything so you couldn’t have heard it. And it’s kind of strange. And I like, I like the second to last line in the poem “Still swaying gently by his toes” cause I think it really sounds like like… like it really make it sounds like the sloth is swaying. “The Favorite Poem” project is made possible by The National Endowment for the Arts. Fostering America’s creativity and investing in our living cultural heritage. Additional funding has been provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by the
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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