and again

The poet, reading the work that gives title to his new collection, repeats the first line and then another, a few lines later. I assume he’s written it that way; it’s such a simple thing to do and the effect so striking. Later I read it myself off the page and find there is only one of each line and it is still beautiful but not stunning without the repetition. Also I realize he rendered it a particular way in print, and then an entirely other way aloud. Which way was the way he meant it? Why not repeat the lines on the page, as when he read it aloud? I was dying to know, and basked in this secret power which repetition had hidden from me. Repetition is dull, I would have told you. Lazy and boring and unnecessary.

Except, of course, when it’s not, which I suppose I should have known from song.