"I read a poem partly to try to find something inside myself. This ‘sensing something’ is difficult. I can say that I ‘think’ about a poem, that I understand the words. But what is it, this 'thinking'? The words of a poem touch me inside. I am moved and a ripple of emotion comes. Sometimes, if I am sensitive, attentive enough, I can feel my body. Then my reading of a poem can lift the seemingly ordinary words to a higher meaning."
Octave

 

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:

Extract from William Wordsworth’s Ode:
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

 

"Sometimes a huge well of feeling flows and tears pour out – as when I first heard a certain stanza from Wordsworth’s “Ode – Intimations of Immortally” and Yeats’ “Lake Isle of Innisfree”. The surprise of this emotion – it simply arrives and something in me is alive, pulsing." 
Octave

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

from The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W B Yeates

 

"Trying to speak the poem, or let it speak through me, not performing it.

Speaking a poem from memory, like Fern Hill, with it’s complicated near repetitions and beautiful, subtle structures: finding, one moment, the comforting flow of a familiar passage and then the shiver of awe, no matter how many times I’ve read or said it, at a line like ..."

 

....the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise."

Extract from Fern Hill
by Dylan Thomas

 

"....a sense then of 'standing under' the poem: and also contacting something in myself, something I know and recognise and yet which isn’t there for me until words like this awaken it."
Octave

 

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