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Quoting Poetry

Though I cannot write it myself (as we have so recently seen), I do enjoy reading poetry. I’ve done so since I was young, and I have a tendency to quote it at random as well. Or really, lines of poetry have a tendency to spring to my mind at random.

One poem that comes to mind often is “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost. For example:

Isn’t it where there are [plural noun]? But here there are no [plural noun].”

And:

I could say ‘Elves’ to him, but it’s not elves exactly and I rather he said it for himself.

And of course:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

And:

Good fences make good neighbors.

What’s funny is “The Mending Wall” is not my favorite Robert Frost poem. That honor goes to “Once by the Pacific.” And on top of that, Frost isn’t my favorite poet. I don’t think I have a favorite; it more depends on my mood. Frost does hold a special place for me, though, being that he was one of the first I could read and really comprehend thanks to his rather frank style.

Later I would come to prefer the more ornate lines of the Romantics. “Lara” and “Daffodils” and “Ozymandias” and all things Blake, among others. And then there would come the requisite affair with Poe’s dark words. All so quotable and handy, lines kept in the mind like tiny books can be kept in a pocket. Quick reference. Though how useful? Not very, perhaps, except at pub quizzes.

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