I remember, a little later than that, having in my mind a sort of private crucial competition for the greatest poem ever written, of course based on the sample I had then read. And the finalists were Blake’s “Little Black Boy” and “Swanee River.” And if you think about it, they’re tonally very alike. The same solitary voice raised in lament, essentially, and grief. That tone reached me very quickly. The songs from the plays of Shakespeare were very different. Many times I didn’t understand some of the words and had no idea what need they filled in the play. I don’t even think I knew that they were parts of plays. But I read them hypnotically. Even after I had memorized them, I kept reading them.