Poetry operates by hints and dark suggestions. It is full of secrets and hidden formulae, like a witch’s brew.
It doesn’t seem to me strange that children should like the macabre, the sensational, and the forbidden.
Children know from a remarkably early age that things are being kept from them, that grown-ups participate in a world of mysteries.
A lot of the fun lies in trying to penetrate the mystery; and this is best done by saying over the lines to yourself again and again, till they pass through the stage of sounding like nonsense, and finally return to a full sense that had at first escaped notice.
Mysteries, like the Masonic rites, are ones parents and elders are sworn not to reveal to the uninitiated, which include all children. And so we sought for signs.
There’s not a good poet I know who has not at the beck and call of his memory a vast quantity of poetry that composes his mental library.