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F. R. Leavis on Keats: A Close Reading

    Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
    Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
    Or on the wealth of globèd peonies...

 The 'globèd' gives the sensation of the hand voluptuously cupping a peony, and it might be argued that this effect can be explained in terms of the isolated word. But actually it will be found that 'globed' seems to be with so rich a palpability what it says, to enact in the pronouncing so gloating a self-enclosure, because of the general co-operation of the context. Most obviously, without the preceding 'glut', the meaning of which strongly reinforces the suggestive value of the alliterated beginning of 'globed', this latter word would lose a very great deal of its luxurious palpability. But the pervasive suggestion of luxury has a great part, too, in the effect of the word; for what is said explicitly in 'wealth' (and in 'rich' in the next line) is being conveyed by various means everywhere in the poem.

The palpability of 'globèd' -- the word doesn't merely describe, or refer to, the sensation, but gives a tactual image. It is as if one were actually cupping the peony with one's hand.
from the archive; first posted September 5, 2012

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That Ship Has Sailed
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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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