Long live the weeds by Theodore Roethke
Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm! -
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked, and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit,
Hope, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.
This is a great poem. But as soon as I read it, I was sad. Do you think that could be published in the New Yorker today? I don't think so - because the average literate American would no longer understand even these straightforward Biblical allusions.