HOW MARY JANE, ANNALISA, AND I HEAR “WESTRON WYNDE”. Mary Jane remembered that, in college, one of her favorite professors, Neil Novelli, had pointed out that the first two lines are self-consciously “poetical” and the second two lines have the urgency of deeply felt passion.

For me, the sounds of the words are important. Also important is the “small raine”. This may have been a common usage for “drizzle”, as the Economist suggests, but the juxtaposition centuries later of the two words is magical.

The Economist says that: “the poem finishes with the idea that what really matters is making love, and if only it could be now; right now”. Annalisa commented that the poem is romantic, but not necessarily about making love. I agree. It is as much about loneliness as it is about sexual intercourse.

There are a number of musical versions of “Westron Wynde” on YouTube. I sampled a few, which were lovely, but they also made me realize how much I value a sharp break between the first couplet and the second couplet.

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