Sunday, 3 November 2013

Succumbing to Keats

Any time I’m asked a question involving one book, I instantly feel that cloying indecisiveness that is my love for a seemingly endless list of books. So being asked to write a blog post about the one book I would bring to a desert island is torment! After much deliberation between The Golden Treasury left to me recently by my grandmother, and a tatty volume of Keats, I’ve decided to go with Keats, as I’ve fallen totally in love with its decrepit charm.
The book came to me last year. Imagine the bustling streets of the town of Gorey, in Wexford, where I sometimes go to shop with my family. There’s a small café there, called “The Book Café”, if  I’m remembering that right, with the kind of atmosphere that makes me want to play chess (though I’m awful) and drink hot chocolate. Go through to the back of the café and you’ll find shelves and shelves of second hand books. In short, a reader’s heaven! It was here that I found a bookcase devoted to poetry, and hiding unassumingly between some larger, sterner looking volumes was my Keats volume, and I say ‘my’ with great pride and satisfaction.
By then, the book had seen its fair share of wear and tear, the pages are browned and the denim-y cover is a little stringy along the spine, but, to me, that’s all part of the charm. It cost five euro, which I’m mentioning because it adds to my happiness around having snatched it up. I must now have read “Ode To A Nightingale” a thousand times, so I’ll close by quoting my favourite lines:
“O, for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth.
That I might drink and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim.”
ull of the *true, the blushful Hippocrene

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