Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016

47573550572_cb0be96766_k

Notre Dame, Burning

in Europe/World by

Nature is a temple; sometimes its living pillars breathe
confused words—but these tongues of fire roar
gibberish. How they ascend the spire, climbing toward heaven.
The forest of beams, that intricate network supporting
the ancient roof, releases its order invisibly
into the air. We might grieve for each individual
tree whose centuries-old, painstaking structure sublimates
in the heat. We might grieve for the carpenters whose adzes
shaped them. Like incense from a censer, the smoke fluctuates,
and cinders fall on the crouching grotesques. The city fills
with the sharp smell of catastrophe. We have been reading
for years about heat. How we have hoped that each loss would be
as rare, as distant, as hard to believe as the collapse
of an Antarctic ice field. We watch the toppling spire.
That which is, is not forever, but we always assume
that the sequoia that has weathered two thousand winters
will survive this season, the next, and ourselves; that the bright
eye of the finch will be succeeded by indefinite
further finches. Our Lady, did we make you? Did you make
us? I don’t believe, but I have placed candles at your feet.
How many matches have I lit, trusting my innocent
intent to save you, me, from consequence. We still don’t know
the extent of the damage.

 

 

________

Rachel Trousdale is an associate professor of English at Framingham State University. Her poems have appeared in The Nation, Diagram, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other places, and she is the author of a chapbook, Antiphonal Fugue for Marx Brothers, Elephant, and Slide Trombone.

Photo by Manhai.

________

Why the Notre Dame fire spread
[New York Times]

Latest from Europe

GettyImages-1178556731

Megxit

By Candice Kelsey. Meghan Markle and her husband declare independence from the
2019-09-29t131529z_1990393954_rc12e5a43540_rtrmadp_3_russia-politics-protests

Gulag

By Michael DeMaranville. In Moscow, 25,000 gather in protest - for the
48677823937_62059a2fdb_k

To the Blond Jester

By Adam Davis. As Brexit gets brutal, so does Boris Johnson's legacy.
Official_portrait_of_Mr_Jacob_Rees-Mogg_crop_1

You Don’t Say…?

By Linda Eve Diamond. British MP Jacob Rees-Moggs has a list of
Go to Top