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W B Yeats: “Memory”

Yeats’ poem “Memory” has been floating around in my mind over the last few days. I’m not sure why it’s been surfacing now in particular, but it’s a lovely little piece:


One had a lovely face,
And two or three had charm,
But charm and face were in vain
Because the mountain grass
Cannot but keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.

You barely notice its formal devices as you read but it has a remarkably satisfying shape that becomes apparent when the fully rhyming “lain” makes you notice the ABCABC structure of the whole.

The shape is satisfying because it’s so … Continue Reading

Ann Patchett, State of Wonder

Wonderful indeed – more continuously absorbing than anything I’ve read or reread for years except the Fagles Iliad.