All Will Unite: An Epithalamium

by Rafaël Newman

Marzipan medallion by Adam Newman

All will unite—no sooner had our world
Combusted (see “The Big Bang”) than it sought
Accretion of the bits that had been hurled
To every corner (where there once was naught,
One nanosecond previous, un-warmed
By ours or any other burning stars,
Un-lit by lunar satellite), and formed,
In steady labour, suns and planets, Mars,
And Jupiter, and Venus, and the rest:
Great gatherings of what was late alone,
But now into a merry round compress’d
Was through our skies in conjunct chorus thrown.

Emily Hubley, “The Origin of Love” (2001), still

And so it is with us, made of those bits
As well, and yearning for return to what
We once were, unities before the blitz:
One rounded whole, harmonic and uncut
As yet by gods invidious, those same
Whom we’ve appeased in solemn ritual,
With sacrifice, and planetary name,
And ceremonies individual.

Yet no creed is a Nightingale enough
To tend the suture basted us at birth,
The seam traversing this, our human stuff,
As once it rived our ancient home, this Earth.
We seek our other selves, that half (or third)
Creation’s parturition cleft away,
What Zeus, or Shiva, or the Gospel’s Word
Rent from us, on that paradisal day
When we were sold a godly bill of goods:
That business with the apple and the rib,
Our newborn shame, our ouster from the woods,
Where we’d disported us till then ad lib.

Albrecht Dürer, “Adam and Eve” (1504)

Because the truth is more complex, not less:
We were hewn from each other’s side apart,
And fashioned for a life of loneliness—
Unless we hunt and hold our other heart,
The Adam to our Lilith (pardon, Eve),
Who was no more sprung from a lesser limb
When she was briefly not on the qui vive
Than Eve herself sprang from a lesser him.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Lady Lilith” (1866), detail

Nor were we all composed of opposites
Until that jealous bolt, assembled from
A mother’s elements, a poppa’s bits:
Though that has been the recipe for some.
No, there are also composites of men
And women both, whose riving drives a search
As cherished now as it was chastised when
We lived in fealty to crown and church.
And some there are who do not seek a second,
But merely wish to heal the cruel divide
Rude nature made within, and who are reckoned
Agamic, viz. with one self satisfied.

François Perrier, “Hermaphrodite in the Borghese Gardens” (c. 1653)

All will unite, I say! As do we now,
From town to town across this fair demesne,
Where free folk tend their flocks, nor ever cow
Was grudged safe passage to a pasture green.
And gathered here, we prove in fine the trend
Writ gross in every saga, every lay:
That born alone, we will to others bend
And make of dark disunion wedded day.
That as we hurtle through our common night,
Still outward flooding since we first arrived,
Each one of us may be a source of light
To guide the other back whence we derived.

Gustav Klimt, “Beethoven Frieze” (1902), detail

Two such we celebrate today, whose calling
Is the very cure creation laid on us,
Whose duty often compasses forestalling
The breach that opens on a bleak nec plus.
So let us cheer, from Frankford-upon-Trent
To Quinte West, from Thomasburg to Trenton,
Beneath the shelter of a festive tent
(Best spot to hold a tented-fest event in);
From Stockdale up to Stirling, from Toronto
To Montreal, from Kingston and the Islands
To London—or to Zurich, if you want to;
And from Down East to far-flung Rocky highlands!
We cheer the courteous and lucid soul
Of these two numinous, well-wrought, and youthful hearts
That had been halved, but now are newly whole—
And thus far greater than the sum of precious parts!

For Lucy Newman-Hogan and Kurtis Wright
Zurich—Hastings County, Ont., 12 VIII 2023