Keats's Plaint

One line from this echoes through my head.  Many people get tunes in their heads that they can't kick out--I get fragments of poetry.  So, I'm kicking it out by giving it to any who will listen.

from "Ode to a Nightingale"
John Keats

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
  I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
  To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,       
  To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
          In such an ecstasy!
  Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
    To thy high requiem become a sod.

I listened to this play round and round in my head as I was out walking at lunch time.  The building we presently occupy backs up to a lovely pond (really a drainage ditch, but then most things are in Florida, and the real natural beauty of this man-made pond belies the purpose). Looking up at the sky at first I thought it November grey--the grey I remember from the endless grey skies of central Ohio--Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, whenever you looked the clouds were either encompassing or not far away.  But when I looked again, I saw that they were not grey, but curiously undefined for my part of the country.  Here in Florida, the clouds are still fluffy and soft, but more often they have distinct boundaries, they are a compact bounded mass.  But these were more like an ocean of blur--a white, streaky, sky-invading wave of just enough cloud to make it dim--to make it November.  It went with the November mood of this stanza, and the November mood of what is presently rolling through my head and my life.


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