As readers of this Editor’s Diary know, I enjoy getting out for long walks at the weekend. And recent outings in the fresh autumn air had me reciting lines from one of my favourite poems!
I first read it at school – so not yesterday! I learned it off by heart and it has stayed with me down through the years.
It is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect and lyrical descriptions of the beauty of autumn I have ever read.
And it gains added poignancy when you realise that, just over a year later, Keats died at the tragically young age of twenty-five.
Even more poignantly, he died far from the “soft-dying” days of an English autumn in Rome.
I have visited the house at the bottom of the Spanish Steps where he took his last breath and was greatly moved by the experience.
If you ever find yourself in Italy’s capital city, I thoroughly recommend taking the guided tour of the Keats-Shelley House, which is superb.
But back to my walks!
As you can see from the top picture, the first was on a day typical of the “season of mists”. The cloud was so low that I felt I was walking through it.
And then, on my second weekend outing, a beautiful display of “mellow fruitfulness”!
This tree overhanging a churchyard wall was was laden with sweet chestnuts, bursting out of their shells and spilling on the ground.
All proof that poetry is not just for school and special occasions.
It’s all around us, and relevant to every experience we have.
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