and eternal bliss
Two Dantes say so:
“I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.”
– Dante Gabriel Rossetti
A different Dante traipses through hell to find his soul mate, Beatrice, a girl he fell in love with from afar:
“In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter
That is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words: here begins a new life”
– Dante Alighieri
from ‘The Divine Comedy’
Dyed in the wool romance fans are moths to a spiritual flame that, more often than not, in real life, turn out to be an intense moment of random chemical heat that lasts as long as a match flare. But women are prone to flings with ghostly lovers and night phantoms who woo from the beyond… and gentle poets immortalize their lady loves with exquisite words and paintings.
Ghostly lovers may fade in the morning but they never cheat. Undying love, it seems, is saved for dabbling with the deceased in lucid dreams. Barring that, fictional heroes in books, an historical larger-than-life figure, and ‘reel-life’ actors on a screen, stand in nicely for ethereal specters. Vicarious love is part of a healthy psyche. The lovelorn and insatiable dreamers are made whole romancing the paranormal.
It’s said that it’s better to have loved and lost than not at all.
But paranormal poetry goes one better: it’s better to have won the heart of a passionate poet than succumb to a lusty one-night-stand with a lantern-jawed oiled stranger in need of a shirt – a two-dimensional narcissistic hunk peeled from the front cover of a generic romance novel. At least the undying love of a ghost spans four dimensions.
The art of sensual loving requires Shakespearean words of passion that transcends the last breath and cheat the worms.
Eternal lovers reincarnate, wandering through the centuries on memories as fragile as a daisy chain to rekindle love profound enough to defy death. Love as strong as a knight’s ‘armor’ rather than as fleeting as the ‘amour’ of nights spent horsing around the rough and tumble pages of a shallow novel. True love is serious. Flings are… well, flings.
BUT LOVE IN THE AFTERLIFE NEVER DIES; it’s as near as a subconscious romp on your 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets with the ghost of a lover who got away.
ROMANCING THE PARANORMAL
In my paranormal romance ‘ADORATION – loving Botticelli’, art history professor Linton Ross falls in love with a figure in a fifteenth-century painting when she is an art student, only to be obsessed by him her entire life, but her world changes when retirement at age sixty-five gives her pause to visit the portrait one last time.
“I checked the painting. All was serene. Once more, Mars rested in perpetual springtime, sleeping naked, and Venus stared blankly with a sorrowful expression of abandonment that I understood. She’d had the poor judgement and bad timing to fall in love with a man she couldn’t have.”
My paranormal romance, inspired by a pair of baby shoes in the Halifax Maritime Museum’s Titanic exhibit, ‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES’ is an extraordinary love story of reincarnation and sacrifice when two children on board Titanic who were destined to marry, are separated by death. A reincarnation attempt goes awry with bizarre consequences.
Do you have a favorite love poem?
Mine is the deliciously sensual ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot. Enjoy an excerpt on me:
THE LOVE-SONG of J. ALFRED PRUFROCK
“And would it have been worth it, after all?
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain,
Among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worthwhile,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball?”
– T.S. Eliot
Yes… it definitely would!
What love story makes you wish ghostly lovers were real? How about ‘Somewhere in Time’ or the amazing paranormal time travel romance, ‘Outlander’?