Present in Absence

Poetry by John Donne (1573 – 1631)

Absence, hear thou my protestation
Against thy strength,
Distance, and length;
Do what thou canst for alteration:
For hearts of truest mettle
Absence doth join, and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,
His mind hath found
Affection’s ground
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
To hearts that cannot vary
Absence is present, Time doth tarry.

My senses want their outward motion
Which now within
Reason doth win,
Redoubled by her secret notion:
Like rich men that take pleasure
In hiding more than handling treasure.

By absence this good means I gain,
That I can catch her,
Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain:
There I embrace and kiss her;
And so enjoy her and none miss her.

(Thoughts on this selection.)

There is a tender power and pain in the absence of being with a beloved. Though our poet wonders as do I, if we ever really separate from authentic Love. For being seen, truly seen, awakens Consciousness and Consciousness recognizes Itself. Feelings of connection that evoke one’s deepest essence remain. I am not alone.

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