Cri du Cœur
Every great Romantic poet contemplated the sublime,
wishing to capture
that which is uncapturable: beauty and terror
to inspire great admiration, to inspire faith
in a Creator. Wordsworth wrote
“it takes its origin from emotion recollected
in tranquility.” Shelley and Byron focused on the terror
and ecstasy in nature. Coleridge considered only a few things
the boundless sea and sky are two.
To him, sublime meant infinity.
I define it differently.
It is not craggy ice-covered granite peaks, or endless fields
of aster and gentian and bellflower
or thunderous rivers that tumble and roar
down mountainsides, or birds singing aubades
with the rising sun, or the roiling green of a raging sea.
It is the alpenglow that warms your cheeks,
your ephemeral smile and rainwashed skin,
your bitter chocolate eyes that make me melt
like a spontaneous Easter snow. It’s...
époustouflant, the evergreen fog
settling on the hills around us, leaving us
marooned in our own supernal world.
It is the terror, the dread of having your spirit parted
from mine, la douleur exquise of wanting.
I believe in God when I am with you.