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hearing poems work

Sometimes you rediscover what you’re good for. In my case, it’s hearing poems work:

Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;

Now, Keats was a London ‘pothecary, so we can take his rural nous with a pinch of salt, but his knowing of words is without qualification. It’s the long ‘owwww’ vowel on ‘Drowsed’, which confirms the source, which you only notice afterwards, as any walker in a full-on poppy field can confirm. And most of all, because that terminal ‘hook’ works in the mind, to reap the next half-line–‘Spares the next swath’, the assonance from ‘air’ to ‘aythe’–like a harvester with a scythe. And we beat on the caesura, the wish of the blade, then: ‘and all its twinéd flow’rs’ and the accent is all. and that is why the glorious boy was a poet with angels’ blood.