London rolled in with a taint of hazy pastels in its violet sky and damask brick railway walls that enclose and pull you in. The sun seemed to have got off the train at the wrong stop, uncertain where to shine.

I read Keats along the journey from blinding gold marshes that looked like sea in the confusion of winter glare. Even the curling of a leaf, the drone of a bee or rose thorn can be of the utmost beauty from his pen. It is akin to Joanna Newsom’s songs and my rural rootings in springtime.

Long ago I read poetry in school; ‘Mirror’ by Slyvia Plath, Roe Deer and the Horses by her husband, ‘do not stand at my grave and weep’ and ‘The Jabberwoky’ and left it at that.

The question is posed for study on what is it that makes poetry difficult. I can not answer, I can not remember if it ever was. The question personally changed to be why don’t I read poetry? Why can a novel by absorbed and rellished no matter how ‘difficult’ yet the statements of poetry be ignored?

An so I read. William’s, Yeats. Keats and Patti Smith’s dear Whitman. Plath and Hughs again, loved again with their silent megalith horses and ‘terrible fish.’ Red wheelbarrows and Snarks filled my fire lit evening remote and friendless.

Only Keats led all elsewhere to a place of spring, of Pan’s footsteps and the deepest stirs of hearts. How can a man write so thoughtfull and sweet, so full of emotion? Look around at the boys on the train; young law students laughing at their drunk escapades. Look at men with their free newspapers and folded suits worn with perceptive frowns. Could they have words, love as his? Sweet, sweet little Keats. Not a stanza is remembered or scrutinized like my almost saintly Plath.

But he leads all elsewhere.


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