Jay Mandeville Poems
On Looking Into Keats's Letters
This for certain, Keats has a temper;
he knows how to take it and dish it out.
Mark well when he warns us,
Keats will decode our doubts.
Or misbehave at the party buffet freely,
cause fastidious guests to
veer away queasily.
He might even ill-use our most precious sofa,
as he separates us from our loneliest offer.
And foodfighting to submission our implacable blase,
he'll drink our cool, cellar-hid claret,
hatch sonnets in our lingerie.
He'll hang hostiles in the garret,
drip honey over all our storage density.
Then speaking of beauty...
The Beautiful Idea
One Spring day Samuel Pepys (1633-
1703) goes for a rambling country stroll,
walking through fields until,
as he later writes,
'the beautiful idea within
the dew' comes to him,
because he encounters
neighbors purposely washing
their faces in it,