Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, November 29, 2004

Letter to John Keats (by Jack Gilbert)

The Spanish Steps -- Feb. 23, 1961

What can I do with these people?
They come to the risk so dutifully,
Are delighted by anecdotes that give
Them Poetry. Are grateful to be told
Of diagonals that give them Painting.
Good people. But stubborn when warned
The beast is not domestic.
How can I persuade them
That the dark, soulful Keats
Was five feet one?
Liked fighting and bear-baiting?
I can’t explain the red hair:
Nor say how you died so full
Of lust for Fanny Browne.
I will tell them of Semele.

from Views of Jeapordy (1962)


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