|When love exceeds the beauty of heaven|
by Mark Word
My friends were sure our souls entwined.
They saw us dance as one,
That we, our love, had surely defined
a love bright as the sun.
Our purpose was to love each other --
two souls, two lives on the run.
The gods, envious of a love so pure,
placed her in her coffin.
A tragic death, the papers said,
a life not yet begun!
They took from me a love so true,
forbidden a mere human.
Milongas without her presence now
are songs all spent and sung.
No spring to my feet and no place to hide,
I'm Adam alone in Eden.
I wait not for heaven or a better place.
Our heaven was a beacon,
Whose beam shone brighter than heaven's light,
so they sent death's coachman
On the path of light that led to us
and a love they yet have known.
This poem is a dedicated to my son, Benjamin and a tribute to Edgar Allen Poe. I was delighted to read through some of Poe's work with Ben, who is 17 and in an English class in Germany. We discussed a paper he was doing on Poe, and I was struck with his thoughtful exegesis on several of Poe's works. One was a poem, "Annabell Lee" (below). This sad poem references the untimely death of Poe's wife. Although the poem was dark and painful, it was also a tribute to the human experience -- that human love and life are so precious that even the seraphs were envious. The ancient Greeks believed that human life is far better than the bleak existence in the shadows of the afterlife. Today's religious belief makes out human life as a mere shadow of that to come. Personaly, I see God's love as far more benevelent than E.A. Poe and today's popular theology, but just in case the world does come to an end on the 21st of May (as perdicted), I thought I would get this out!
Although I do not believe that things get worse after this life we know, please imagine seeing the value of our present life as being so precious that it even the angles are envious of what we have! I do wonder if the angles are envious when I dance at times. Also, this sense of "it doesn't get any better" describes my love for my children, Ben and Toby.
Here is Poe's poem in its entirety:
by Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee-- And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, But we loved with a love that was more than love-- I and my Annabel Lee-- With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me-- Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we-- Of many far wiser than we-- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: And so, all the night-tide, I lay down by the side Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea-- In her tomb by the sounding sea.