Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Poem for Tuesday and National Cathedral Glass

The Cathedral Builders
By John Ormond

They climbed on sketchy ladders towards God,
with winch and pulley hoisted hewn rock into heaven,
inhabited the sky with hammers,
defied gravity,
deified stone,
took up God's house to meet him,
and came down to their suppers
and small beer,
every night slept, lay with their smelly wives,
quarrelled and cuffed the children,
lied, spat, sang, were happy, or unhappy,
and every day took to the ladders again,
impeded the rights of way of another summer's swallows,
grew greyer, shakier,
became less inclined to fix a neighbour's roof of a fine evening,
saw naves sprout arches, clerestories soar,
cursed the loud fancy glaziers for their luck,
somehow escaped the plague,
got rheumatism,
decided it was time to give it up,
to leave the spire to others,
stood in the crowd, well back from the vestments at the consecration,
envied the fat bishop his warm boots,
cocked a squint eye aloft,
and said, "I bloody did that."


I had a pretty quiet Monday working on articles and doing chores, at least until late afternoon when Dementordelta told me I'd want to check out this week's Newsweek so I checked out their web site -- my local Giant didn't have the new issue -- and watched all the Oscar Roundtable discussions, which are enormous fun (Colin Firth talks about how it's really hard to play a love scene with someone you're in love with, Michelle Williams talks about Dawson's Creek, Annette Bening is the one who's most consistently brilliant).

Since I was on a roll, I also watched Colin Firth on Inside the Actors Studio -- I loathe Lipton, but he inadvertently made me fall in love with Russell Crowe, so I know he can't ruin anyone I really like for me. We watched The Chicago Code, which is pretty well done -- I like getting to see the city and I like the cast, though the show may end up being too violent for me -- then we watched Harry's Law, which continued its trend of being 1) ridiculous and 2) enjoyable for all that, though it's a lot darker than Boston Legal was this early in its broadcast despite Tommy Jefferson clearly wishing he could be Denny Crane.

Here are a few photos from the stained glass tour at the National Cathedral on Sunday. The light was wonderful, making patterns all over the place as it came through the windows.

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