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… up in flames.

Nearly a thousand years of history going up in flames.


… Like a prodigious skeleton of fire
Leaving an immense void — twisted iron, indented
 clock wheels, broken muted bells.

   Foolish imposter 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.

— Daisy Aldan, The Destruction of Cathedrals.


From the Notre Dame School of Polyphony (1160-1250).

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4 Responses to “Notre Dame…”

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    I was happy to remember that the cathedral was mapped internally and externally by laser scanners. This could help restoration efforts. When I looked up the work, I was saddened to learn that the project leader, Prof. Andrew Tallon of Vassar, died last year aged only 49.


  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: Many thanks for the link to that article. I read some obituaries for Tallon, who seems to have been an exceptional scholar and a wonderful human being. I note that his obituary asks that donations be made to NYC’s Holy Trinity Church.

  3. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    The GoFundMe site to support his family has received several donations since yesterday. People are hearing of him and are showing their appreciation.

    It is beyond unfortunate that families all over have to fundraise like this when illness strikes.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: Thanks for linking to the GoFundMe site, which I’ve been reading. Clearly a wonderful man, whose important work will survive him.

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