In this installment, Robin Beth Schaer reads "To Sleep" by John Keats. 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, "To Sleep"
O SOFT embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
And seal the hushèd casket of my soul.