A poem needs understanding through the senses.
The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake,
to luxuriate in the sensation of water.
You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought.
Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.
John Keats: I had such a dream last night. I was floating above the trees with my lips connected to those of a beautiful figure, for what seemed like an age. Flowery treetops sprung up beneath us and we rested on them with the lightness of a cloud.
Fanny Brawne: Who was the figure?
John Keats: I must have had my eyes closed because I can't remember.
Fanny Brawne: And yet you remember the treetops.
John Keats: Not so well as I remember the lips.
Fanny Brawne: Whose lips? Were they my lips?
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen masque
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No - yet still stedfast, still unchangeable
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon in death.