Today will be spent in chores and general rat killing–work on university classes, catching up on business emails, setting up more signings. Tomorrow, I plan on driving to the Minden library for research on a play I’m writing, and depending on that goes, may try to contact some libraries. Rather than drive back to Monroe, I’m going to find a hotel at or near Longview, Texas. I have a signing at the Books-A-Million there Saturday morning. As soon as all the books are sold (yes, selling-out the books at my signings has become a pride issue), I must drive from there to my parents’ house in Kemp, Oklahoma to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. I’ll drive back to Louisiana late Sunday night. As there’s a chance I won’t be able to post anything or much on Saturday or Sunday until I return, I thought I’d post my favorite poem by John Keats. I have it memorized and I quote it to each 102 class when I begin the poetry unit. It’s a sonnet and was written in January 1818. As a writer, it touches something inside me.
WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.