Stained Voices

Vibrant voices,
though mute,
stream with light
from every shard.
The silent congregation of intricate
and ancient art, is animate
with sanguine songs,
a cadmium and cobalt choir
intoning medieval psalms
and Victorian poetry.
Such heavenly illuminations
are devilishly delicate,
so easy to annihilate.

Kim M. Russell, 12th August 2019

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille: Raising Our Poetic Voices

De is our host this Monday, asking us to give voice in exactly 44 words.

For my birthday, we took the train from Norwich to Ely, a medieval city situated on an island in the East Anglian fens. We went to Oliver Cromwell’s house, wandered around the Ely Museum, which used to be the bishop’s gaol, and Ely Cathedral, where I was fascinated by the stained glass museum and took many photos of examples of beautiful glass art through the ages. It reminded me how much stained glass has been destroyed by religious fanaticism and war.

47 thoughts on “Stained Voices

    1. Thank you, De. While I was at the museum, I watched a video about how the history of stained glass, how it is made and put together. It was fascinating.


    1. Thanks Bjorn. I love stained glass windows and have visited places where they have been destroyed and it took years to replace them, It’s a painstaking art form or craft.


    1. There is a haunting atmosphere around Ely, Jane. It’s a compact little island.
      Have you read Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick? It’s set in a dystopian East Anglia: Norwich is an island with dangerous marauding gangs and the protagonist escapes to Ely (Eels Island) in a boat.


  1. The whole poem is a work of art. These lines speak volumes:
    “The silent congregation of intricate
    and ancient art, is animate
    with sanguine songs,”
    So beautiful but depicting such bloodthirsty acts…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully said, Kim. I also like the alliteration. So much history–and as you say beauty and fanaticism.
    The stories of stained glass windows in most churches probably tell a story beyond what is depicted.

    Liked by 1 person

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