In this installment, Robin Beth Schaer reads "Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art." Schaer is the recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in Rattapallax, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Barrow Street, among others. She was educated at Colgate University and Columbia University, and has taught literature and writing at Columbia University and Cooper Union. She works at the Academy of American Poets and lives in New York City.
John Keats, "Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art"
Bright star! would I were steadfast 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 mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.