Skip to Main Content

Zahnow Library - Theodore Roethke Memorial Sculpture: Home

Gift of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation
Profile Photo
Anita Dey
Library Administration Office
Zahnow Library - Z 425


The 8 foot 10.5 inch free standing greenhouse scuplture is a memorial to Theodore Roethke, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet born in Saginaw, Michigan. The sculpture reflects the influence of nature, people and events on Theordore Roethke's poetry. Elements from Roethke's childhood, especially those spent in his father's greenhouses, comprise the sculpture.

A bust of Roethke is the largest piece on the sculpture. Book spines along the back of the bust are entitled with Roethke's works. A figure of a child sitting on top of the sculpture is Roethke as a boy which was taken from his poem "A Child on top of a Greenhouse".

The faces of three women who were employed by Roethke's father in the greenhouse are included with potted flowers and plant roots.

Visitors will notice books and fish included in the scultpture reflecting Roethke's hobbies of reading and fishing. Tennis racquets are located at the bottom of the sculpture as Roethke was known to be an avid tennis player.

Other symbolic references are made throughout the sculpture and can be indentified in Theordore Roethke's poetry.

The sculpture was a gift of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation and dedicated on October 15, 1998. It is on display at the Melvin J. Zahnow Library, Saginaw Valley State University.


SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Martineau, Janet, "Poetry devotees to raise funds for Roethke scultpture," Saginaw News, May 10, 1997, p. B3

About the artist


    M. Pamela Stump

    Born: July 8, 1928, Detroit Michigan 

    Residence: Gross Isle, Michigan


  • Women of Achievement Award, Downriver Chapter, National Organization for Women
  • Distinguished Alumna Medal, Kingswood School, Cranbrook  


The artist's works can be seen in schools, offices, churches, libraries, and hospitals throughout Michigan, as well as in Ohio, Florida, Honduras and Japan

SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Who's Who in America, 54th ed, v. 2 New Providence, NJ : Marquis Who's Who, c. 1999 p. 4789

Selected Bibliography About the Sculpture

Articles available in the library's verticle file and archives collection:

Martineau, Janet I. "Roethke Home Marker Unveiled." Saginaw News. May 19, 2000. D7.

Martineau, Janet I. "Mentor Roethke Meant a Lot to Poet." Saginaw News. May 13, 2000. B1.

Martineau, Janet I. "High Marks and a Marker." Saginaw News. May 6, 2000. B2

Schroeder, Sarah. "Festival Celebrates Saginaw's Artistic Heritage." Valley Vanguard. June 8, 1999.