It keeps eternal whisperings around Desolate shores …. …. Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody— Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth and brood, Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!
Keats suggests that if we have had enough of this noisy world, we should go to a quiet place by the sea and sit “near some old Cavern’s mouth and brood”. Suddenly, out of the silence we may be startled to hear choirs of sea nymphs singing.
We are being called to go back to nature and to allow her to gently embrace us in her healing arms.
This sacred call of the sea is exquisitely captured in the beautiful photograph below. Be still. Can you hear the call?
A big thank you to Mariska Spoormaker for permission to use her beautiful photograph. Mariska took the picture on the Sacramento Trail near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Season of mists and ……fruitfulness, Close ……….friend of the ……….sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves …….; To ….with apples the …..cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To ….the gourd, and ….the hazel shells With a …..kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think ….days will never cease, For summer has ……….. their clammy cells.
Keats’s version with Keats’s words in bold red
Season of mists and mellowfruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturingsun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bendwith apples the moss’dcottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swellthe gourd, and plumpthe hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warmdays will never cease, For summer has o’er-brimm’dtheir clammy cells.
How did you do?
You can do the same exercise for the rest of the ode.
PS My late Uncle told me about the above exercise. He learnt it from a teacher in Southern Rhodesia, probably in the 1930s.