Sunday, October 30, 2011

The prosody of gooseflesh

Today is the eve of All Hallow's Eve, and because it is a Sunday, it is the day of my neighborhood's annual Halloween parade for tots. Shepherded by their parents, dozens of tiny bumblebees, pumpkins, Thomas the Tank Engines, princesses, Jedi knights, Scooby-Dos and Madeleines will ramble down the street in a long, jaunty row, popping in and out of stores for treats.

But what is there for grown-ups who want a Halloween chill? I suggest this: William Butler Yeats himself reading The Lake Isle of Innisfree in a trembling, conjurer's voice.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by W. B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

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