Inspired whilst on holiday in 1893, the poet and literary critic Mathilde Blind speculated on the potential for intimacy in great poetry: “The poet only truly lives when he feels the rapture of communion; when his soul mirrored in a sister soul is doubled like the moon glassed in the Lake of Nemi” (Commonplace book 36; hereafter CB). Blind here alludes to the belief that from the shores of Lake Nemi, located just southeast of Rome, one might witness a perfect reflection of the moon upon the lake's still waters. Like the moon that casts its light down on the lake, Blind imagines the poet radiating outward toward her readers and experiencing with them “the rapture of communion,” a flash of sympathetic confederacy. It was an ideal Blind had considered from her first volume of poetry in 1867 to her recently published Dramas in Miniature (1891), and it had determined most notably The Ascent of Man, Blind's 1889 poetic re-writing of Darwinian evolution. In her work as a literary critic as well as in her poetry, Blind singles out moments of passionate communication, such as lines of D. G. Rossetti that “set ones nerve tingling” (Correspondence; letter to Richard Garnett, 10 October 1881), and Shelley's poetry, which is like an “electric telegraph of thought flashing its fiery spark through the dull dense world of sense” (“Shelley” 97). At its best, poetry fuses an “intensity of feeling, [a] depth of thought, music, and form” (Correspondence; letter to Richard Garnett, 26 January 1870) so as to resonate most effectively with what Tennyson called “the deep heart of every living thing” (Poems 1: 85).