Six years ago, I fell in love with a boy in San Antonio. As many of you already know, our relationship was bittersweet. Separated by distance (I was in Washington at the time) and left disconnected because of family and friends, we never got to meet. He did plan to come visit me, though passed away suddenly before he had the opportunity. I was not able to go to his funeral; I do not know where he is buried.
Some of the past six years have been quite difficult. I would never wish anyone to go through what I did, and yet, I feel as though it helped me grow. In the spirit of growth, then, and savoring the good while letting go of what has passed, I would now like to show you what I produced after Jordan’s death. Enamored of Romantic poetry and everything it captured, I emulated many of my favorite Romantic poets to create a panegyric of sorts. It is dedicated to Jordan, and is inspired by both his death and life. I offer it not as a symbol of what I will never have again, nor as a last angry attempt at vindication. It is what it is; it is a part of who I was. For those of you interested in knowing where I have come from, then read on. For those interested in knowing what love and death can inspire someone to do, then read on. For all others: do not invest the time in reading if you do not want to be involved with what you read. It wasn’t written blindly, or indifferently. It is passionate, proud, mournful, and determined. Beyond these evident characteristics, I hope you find a wealth of meaning for yourselves.
I begin, then, with the epigraph and will continue in many parts until you know the story from beginning to end.
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THE PARAGON: DREAMS AND REVELATIONS
The Paragon 1
“God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why looks’t thou so?”—With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.
Ah! Well-a-day! What evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.” 2
1 “The Angel in the House,” Coventry Patmore. The subject of Patmore’s original poem is the presentation of the ideal woman in Victorian England (circa 1854). Conceived with the intention of producing a virtually nonhuman character, subjected to the wishes and wants of men, this title serves to contrast both the issue of gender
in love-based relationships, and also the conception of a standard ideal.
2 “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This epitaph is used to provided a metaphorical allegory to the main character, dubbed Sophomore, the Sycophant (iii.)