Posts Tagged ‘Daisy Aldan’

In October of 2001 I posted to my WTC Journal website Daisy Aldan’s Destruction of Cathedrals which was written shortly after WW2 and thus reflects upon that time of destruction. This poem of hers eerily seemed to reflect upon the fall of the Twin Towers. In 2019 I found, that once again, it could have been written after Notre Dame burned.

Here is what I originally wrote about the poem in 2001: We might feel that we are going through a unique time in our history. That our experience is like no other. Yet we are part of the human condition and part of its unending parade of wars. These … literary works show us that at the heart of all disasters, the human emotions rise up the same, no matter what time or place.

The  Destruction of Cathedrals  – Daisy Aldan

For there, like France at war, I found myself,

Not standing forth in pride and glory, but on my knees in mourning, amid ruins.

Amid the noise of falling glass and plaster.

Statues, pinnacles, bell turrets, counterforts; crockets, birds, pillars and arches,

All all in ruins incalcinated.

Cross, candlesticks, reliquaries, masonry, swept away like wisps of straw.

The smiling angel has only half a face,

The Chimera which climbs t meet her has been struck by a bullet in her back,

The hands of the caryatid, amputated,

Solomon’s cloak is cracked the Queen of Sheba has lost her robe and crown.

The flames have scaled the steeples spread over the roofs

O vos omnes qui transites perviam, attendete et vedete

Everywhere they are licking the lead plates

Disclosing the bare frame forest across interlacing balconies

Like a prodigious skeleton of fire

Leaving an immense void twisted iron, indented clock wheels, broken muted bells,

Foolish impostor doors which did not open

Hang in high galleries. Perforated the great roses intense blues, purples,

Reds so warm and vigorous which burnished

The rays of the midday sun. The gargoyles drip heavy tears. I hear the bells falling.

Wind is raging among the naves and corpses.

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