On Romanticism — Rachel Needell

—after the painting Monk on the Seashore by Caspar David Friedrich

In gloomy hues of blue to white

the ocean carries in,

on turbulent seas,

an angry storm.

And he stands watching,

waiting, perhaps for

the rain, or,

perhaps, for

the rapture.

And I wonder

if Goethe was right when he said

over-educated middle-class boys

make self-indulgent art.

But there’s something in that sky

that tells a proverbial truth—

to bask in the present.

There is always another storm looming

on the horizon.