Friday, 23 January 2015

A poem from the just-published Cathedra sequence by Albert Hagenaars

the tombstones of saint-denis

The light of Abbot Suger, ever new, falls on
canopies and tombstones, the vacant faces
of kings. Their graves are subject to

an emptiness greater than that of life.

Further down, in the crypt, their
amassed remains now acidify, sealed
off from the viruses of a belief

more menacing, penetrating

than that of the zealot from Geneva,
the arguments of the Enlightenment
or the yapping goddess of the Revolution:

our probing of DNA, nanos and the universe.

This gleaming marble, wearing away
in staring, suggests how we too might shine,
in a glow that knows neither day nor night

for love is deep, deeper than stone is dense.

Taken from the four-language collection Cathedra, the original Dutch by Albert Hagenaars.
For more information, consult his website at

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