Poetry: "The Mysticism of Happiness”

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

Editor’s Note: “The Mysticism of Happiness” is an example of Found poetry, in which existing texts are refashioned and presented as poems. The words in a found poem are unaltered from the original source but are rearranged. The original source in this case is Wight Martindale Jr.’s “Miguel de Cervantes—An Appreciation.”

The Mysticism of Happiness

—A poem found in an essay on Cervantes
by Wight Martindale Jr.

Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, and Dante:
reading can be long and lonely.
Love stories with happy endings?
Cervantes and Shakespeare.

This is where it all began.
Marriage is more than just a happy ending.
Women take charge because they must;
the noblemen involved are just not up to it.

The hero of tragedy is not better
than we are, Aristotle says,
but he is more of an extremist.
The anti-hero fails at almost

everything.
He is a dead man, and he knows it.
Comedy, on the other hand,
celebrates the small life well lived.

Don Quixote without Sancho Panza?

This is where it all began.
Consider: Crusoe and Friday, Holmes
and Watson—even Christopher Robin
and Winnie the Pooh, and Calvin and Hobbes.

Buffoonery and nonsense! A trick of fortune!
The sometime prostitute, a good-hearted woman,
the most important woman—
love stories with happy endings.

Writing and the imagination:
Alonso “the good,” a small man
with very good intentions.
This is where it all began.

Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, and Dante,
Cervantes and Shakespeare.
You cannot get ahead of them
because they are always there before you.

  • Share
Most Commented

March 18, 2022

1.

The Case for Colonialism: A Response to My Critics

Political scientist and NAS board member Bruce Gilley’s article “The Case for Colonialism” (republished in Academic Questions in the summer of 2018), has been the subject o......

December 27, 2021

2.

A Poor Substitute for Religion

While “wokeness” attracts students starved for purpose and meaning, it fails to produce people whose excellent personal qualities are self-evident. Liberal education does just th......

Most Read

July 2, 2020

1.

In Humans, Sex is Binary and Immutable

The idea that there are more than two sexes in human beings is a rejection of everything biological science has taught us. Unbelievably, this idea is coming directly from within the highest......

May 30, 2018

2.

The Case for Colonialism

From the summer issue of Academic Questions, we reprint the controversial article, "The Case for Colonialism." ...

March 18, 2022

3.

The Case for Colonialism: A Response to My Critics

Political scientist and NAS board member Bruce Gilley’s article “The Case for Colonialism” (republished in Academic Questions in the summer of 2018), has been the subject o......