I grew up at my grandfather's knee listening to him quote his beloved poets by the hour from memory. I always knew there was a poem welling up when he would throw up his hand and his eyes would blaze as he would launch into yet another verse. Poetry could and would drop into our conversations at a moment's notice under most any circumstance.
The day before he died at the age of 88, we were visiting when suddenly his hand shot up and his eyes began to blaze as he started quoting a beautiful piece I'd never heard before. It went on a rather long time. Finally he put his hand down and asked, "Have you ever heard me quote that before?"
"No Granddad" I replied, "I've never heard it. Who wrote that?"
He looked rather strangely at me as he said, "Why, I don't know. I've never heard it either. Wonder where that came from?"
That was our last conversation. He died that night.
I enjoy telling this story to people who I think need a little magic in their lives. It's my belief my grandfather's poetry muse was quoting its own verse through him that day.
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