Paradise and Poetry

Last week I took a pilgrimage to the island of St. John. I went to find a part of Sue, leave a part of Sue, and gain direction in life after Sue. I went to find paradise. It gave me poetry.

Turns out the island’s namesake was able to put my journey into words much better than I. Granted, I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person and therefore I was quite moved when, thanks to this trip, I discovered St. John’s poetic musings on love, loss, and wanderings of the soul.

Where have You hidden Yourself,

And abandoned me in my groaning …

You have fled like the *hart,

Having wounded me.

[Coincidentally, we stayed on Hart Bay. I looked it up. Turns out “hart” is an old-fashion word for a stag dear.]

I ran after You, crying; but You were gone …

In search of my Love

I will go over mountains and strands …

And pass by the mighty and the frontiers …

O verdant meads

Enameled with flowers,

Tell me, has [She] passed by you …

O crystal well!

Oh that on your silvered surface

You would mirror forth at once

Those eyes desired

Which are outlined in my heart …

My Beloved is the mountains,

The solitary wooded valleys,

The strange islands,

The roaring torrents,

The whisper of the amorous gales;

The tranquil night

At the approaches of the dawn,

The silent music,

The murmuring solitude …

If, then, on the common land

I am no longer seen or found,

You will say that I am lost;

That, being enamored,

I lost myself; and yet was found …

When You regarded me,

Your eyes imprinted in me Your grace …

And thereby my eyes merited

To adore what in You they saw

Let us go forth to see ourselves in Your beauty,

To the mountain and the hill,

Where the pure water flows:

Let us enter into the heart of the thicket …

We shall go at once

To the deep caverns of the rock

Which are all secret …

There you will show me

That which my soul desired …

The breathing of the air,

The song of the sweet nightingale,

The grove and its beauty

In the serene night,

With the *flame that consumes, and gives no pains.

[I like to think of this “flame” as this blog and, with it, my book endeavor in honor of Sue and Szaba … ]

And with that I leave you with this stanza once more:

When You regarded me,

Your eyes imprinted in me Your grace …

And thereby my eyes merited

To adore what in You they saw.

Let us go forth to see ourselves in Your beauty.

Beautiful, just like Sue’s tropical sanctuary and the namesake of the man who wrote these stunning words, so achingly on the mark.

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