Roethke’s great poem is accompanied by found footage of aquatic organisms, which works surprisingly well. Video maker Paula Schneck writes,
“The Waking,” by Theodore Roethke is a poem about the unknowable, life, death, sleep and waking in the form of a villanelle. One of the most unknowable environments in the world is the ocean, especially the deepest parts with the heaviest pressure. Villanelles have a unique rhyme scheme, which is portrayed in jarring cuts between the clips of underwater life.