Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ode to a Nightingale

I've been reading Keats' Ode to a Nightingale quite a bit lately.

I remember when I was studying for my English Literature A-level. I had a lesson with my teacher, one to one, as nobody else had turned up. She tried to get me interested in this poem. But a friend was waiting for me outside, and I was eager to get away, so she let me go early. I must have come across as a vulgar cretin. Never mind.

I remember her stressing the sensuality of lines such as:

'Singest of summer in full-throated ease'

'And purple-stained mouth'

Well, nearly a quarter of a century has passed since then. That lesson means more to me than some idiot friend who could be dead now for all I know or care.