Vitamins and Roughage

By Kenneth Rexroth 1905–1982 Kenneth Rexroth
Strong ankled, sun burned, almost naked,
The daughters of California   
Educate reluctant humanists;
Drive into their skulls with tennis balls
The unhappy realization
That nature is still stronger than man.
The special Hellenic privilege   
Of the special intellect seeps out   
At last in this irrigated soil.
Sweat of athletes and juice of lovers
Are stronger than Socrates’ hemlock;
And the games of scrupulous Euclid
Vanish in the gymnopaedia.

Kenneth Rexroth, “Vitamins and Roughage” from The Collected Shorter Poems. Copyright © 1966 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.

Source: The Collected Shorter Poems (1966)

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Poet Kenneth Rexroth 1905–1982

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Sports & Outdoor Activities, School & Learning, Activities

Poetic Terms Syllabic

 Kenneth  Rexroth

Biography

In a reminiscence written for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Kenneth Rexroth's friend and former student Thomas Sanchez portrayed the author as a "longtime iconoclast, onetime radical, Roman Catholic, Communist fellow traveler, jazz scholar, I.W.W. anarchist, translator, philosopher, playwright, librettist, orientalist, critical essayist, radio personality, newspaper columnist, painter, poet and longtime Buddhist." While . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Sports & Outdoor Activities, School & Learning, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Syllabic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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