…as it seldom happens that any felicity comes so pure as not to be tempered and allayed by some mixture of sorrow. — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. Francisco de Robles 1605 (Part One), 1615 (Part Two). Published in English 1612 (Part One), 1620 (Part Two).
The first three hours of night were almost spent The time that every star shines down on us When Love appeared to me so suddenly That I still shudder at the memory. Joyous Love seemed to me, the while he held My heart within his hands, and in his arms My lady lay asleep wrapped… Continue reading Dante Alighieri
There is no greater sorrow then to recall our times of joy in wretchedness. ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno (The Divine Comedy). (Modern Library, December 9, 2003) Originally 1320.
After the end of something, there comes another end, This one behind you, and far away. Only a lifetime can get you to it, and then just barely. — Charles Wright, from “28,” Littlefoot: A Poem (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007)
The Beyond is merely beyond, A melancholy place of failed and fallen stars. — Mark Strand, from “XLII,” Dark Harbor: A Poem (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994)
I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings. There is an empty place within me where my heart was once. ― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings. (Bantam; Reprint edition, May 28, 2002) Originally published 1998.
I shall continue to exist. I may assume other disguises, other forms, but I shall try to exist. — Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos (Putnam, 1962)