Tilly is studying Keats’ poetry for A levels.
At dinner she was talking about how they had made a start on The Eve of St. Agnes and how she was warming to Keats after being utterly unimpressed by La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
‘I think some of his language is really rather beautiful, even though the poem is a bit weird and stalkerish and has oddly disturbing sex in it.’
I refrained from mentioning the lesson we once did where our teacher showed a remarkable knowledge of fruit based sexual innuendos, which has meant I have never looked at either Keats, or greengrocers in the same way since.
I just nodded, sagely and said:
‘Yes. I like the bit where he talks about the beadsman’s breath going up to heaven like…’
Tilly – wafting her hands about: ‘…smoke and prayers and…stuff…and…’
Me: ‘Thingy. Yes. That.’
Tilly: ‘I really like the bit where he talks about her eyelids being like…like…’
Tilly: ‘Yes. That’s right.’