Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Kierkegaard’s ghost

He left her, you know – though he loved her from the first
and loved her still, he said he wasn’t fit for marriage.
He tried to explain, console her. She married another.
That was centuries before us, but because of you I wonder:
how did Regine get through it? Maybe the adrenalin rushed
through her chest each time her lover’s words reached out
for the unnamed world to see. Maybe the world is better for it.
Happy in love, Kierkegaard would not have felt the burn under
his own skin. Without the words Søren pulled from anxious flames,
Albert Camus, years on, would’ve just been a weatherman, and
I would not have read his novels when I was twenty. In turn,
I’d not have overcome my own existence, my mind left unfulfilled
without ‘ideas above my station.’ I’d not have determined to learn
long after the end of my reckless youth. Maybe if Søren married
Regine, we wouldn’t have spoken, the chain broken. My path and yours
would not have crossed. Think of all the trouble we’d have been saved
if Kierkegaard had let himself love. You take meaning from one thing,
give to another. Don’t blame me if I see these patterns in the way
life turns out. Understand my own solar plexus is set alight
hot and cold like the flicker of a star I can’t see. But poor Regine.
She didn’t have the words. Søren had grand thoughts, questions for God.
Here is Kierkegaard’s ghost; he tells us of anxiety’s freedom.
Regine is immortal only for being left behind.
It’s a small consolation, but this last will never happen to me.
NAMEKate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999. Her work has appeared online and in print, and her kindle single Bewitched – a story told in poems and flash fiction – was released in June 2014 via the Pankhearst Singles Club. She lives in Sheffield, England with her sons and her cat. You can find out more about her at

Categories: Mental Health, Poetry, Themed

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2 replies


  1. Sep 8 – Soren Kierkegaard | Holy Women, Holy Men
  2. Sep 8 – Soren Kierkegaard | Paradoxical Thoughts

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