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The set of sixteen words below can be partitioned. Each partition is of four words that have something in common. I invite you to figure out the partitions and commonalities. You'll find that the four commonalities have, themselves, something in common.

AWAY, BRINGS, DEATH, DESCRIES, ENDS, KNOWLEDGE, MEMORIES, NIGHT, QUANDARY, SINGS, SLEEP, SOLDIERS, STARS, THOUGHTS, VERSION, WAKES

Hint, added later: I considered tagging this

. But then I read its description ("Puzzles that are presented in the form of any of the various types of poetry.") and realized it's inapplicable.

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The 4 groups are clearly (!) intended to be resolved as follows:

Group 1

AWAY, VERSION, ENDS, QUANDARY

These are one-word titles of poems in Robert Frost's 1962 collection, In the Clearing.

Group 2

NIGHT, SLEEP, DEATH, STARS

These words all appear in the last line of Walt Whitman's short poem, A Clear Midnight:

This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

Group 3

MEMORIES, SOLDIERS, THOUGHTS, KNOWLEDGE

Four words which follow 'no' in the Wallace Stevens poem, A Clear Day and No Memories:

No soldiers in the scenery,
No thoughts of people now dead,
As they were fifty years ago,
Young and living in a live air,
Young and walking in the sunshine,
Bending in blue dresses to touch something,
Today the mind is not part of the weather.

Today the air is clear of everything.
It has no knowledge except of nothingness
And it flows over us without meanings,
As if none of us had ever been here before
And are not now: in this shallow spectacle,
This invisible activity, this sense.

NB 'No Memories' appears in the title!

Group 4

DESCRIES, WAKES, SINGS, BRINGS

Four verbs which appear in the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, The Cock's Clear Voice Into the Clear Air:

Line 6: The coming morn descries,
Line 7: And, mankind's bugler, wakes
Line 9: He sings the morn upon the westward hills
Line 11: He sings it in the land
Line 13: He brings to me dear voices of the past,

And in case it isn't clear by now, all four groups are connected by:

the appearance of the word 'CLEAR' within a poem, its title or its collection!

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ How did you?!?! $\endgroup$ – Prince Deepthinker Aug 20 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Deepthinker101 A hunch from the hint, and a lot of Google to pinpoint the right ones! :) I'd been thinking about this one on and off for a few days and actually stumbled upon one of these in the process, but just didn't spot the connection until tonight! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 20 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Bravo!! In group 4, it's not just words that appear rot13(va gur cbrz: vg'f npgvbaf gung gur pbpx gnxrf, nf qrfpevorq va gur cbrz). $\endgroup$ – msh210 Aug 20 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @msh210 Indeed - I stuck with 'verbs' so as not to need to resurrect my school exam days and delve deeper still! Thanks for the bounty :) This was a deceptively tricky connect-wall! I had no idea where I would end up when I began, and I had a very interesting tour of some great works along the way... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 20 at 22:41

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