The Corner

Culture

Poetry

CATHEDRAL

The inner light grandeur of the cathedral,

muted but still present, even on cloudy days;

its immensity, its echoes, silence,

its music, shifting uplift of daylight,

its faithful, its tourists, clergy, its

pattern of life; deliberately, artfully

distinct from the outside world,

a space too big for man, its

compelling union of theater and truth;

something comes from its sepulcher of

saint and martyr, of ancient decency,

the love of God: the scrubbed, musty

solemnity of it all, a continuity beyond

the genealogy of rulers, the history of nations;

the stones, the light, the mystery and memory.

 

Something that lies close to the generations

of the faithful, pilgrims, clergy, even

tourists of the modern era. Any echoes

from the old souls, the meaning of the music

of the ancient hymns, each its own prayer,

lie closer still; but it is the new souls,

believers, nonbelievers, the merely hopeful,

that give this place its continuing life,

that create a meaning of place, an idea

with wings, a separate way, a

separate life, something of a world

unto itself, lifting through stone

and glass unbroken, the sweep of

wings silent, cloud like, a holy

light also unbroken, and ever hopeful.

— This poem appears in the May 18, 2015, print edition of National Review.

Read more at: https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/417720/poetry

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