The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies

XXIII.CM16

 
Ken Armentrout III is a current Ph.D. student in the Humanities: History of Ideas program at the University of Texas at Dallas and a M.L.A. student at Johns Hopkins University. A recent graduate of both Southern Methodist and Fordham Universities, Ken is a seasoned teacher and frequent seminar speaker in the Dallas area. Currently, he is co-authoring a book on the topic of wisdom.

poetry

Medieval Modernity

Ken Armentrout III, University of Dallas at Texas

 

Medievalism interlopes modernity.

Stormtrooper skyscrapers, redundant cafes,

and superfluous diners envelop the cathedral.

A shimmering light among the shadows

of invisible tinted glass, double bolted steel,

and rust stained concrete.

 

Medieval ashen stone towers soar in the divine endless glow,

the address of heaven is the crossing of 51st and 5th avenues.

5 is a holy number of balance.

Inequality pervades the marriage

of the divine and humanity.

Sacred liturgies and meditative silences battle

jackhammers, car horns, and sirens beyond the ramparts. 

 

Grim opaque heavens conceal the tiers of spiral lances.

The sky is pierced and bleeds rain below. 

Blue, red, and yellow rosette stained-glass windows illuminate the holy saints.

Snowy marble statuary evokes the compassionate endeavors of the divine.

 

The divine gazes downward through the haze of dissonance,

heart aching to join humanity.

Civilization feebly importunes the ominous sky for tranquility.

Lost in the foreboding enormity of frosty floor to icy ceiling,

misplaced in the vastness of divinity.

 

Uniform Corinthian columns humbly stand,

as attendants to the royal court of archways.

Pointed arches bridge the bottomless chasm between humanity and divinity.

Choral song climbs to meet the white light above.

 

Elevated gold and white priests flourish zucchettos and cassocks,

each slowly rising to address the people, holy speeches and prayers proclaimed. 

Solemn followers reclining in rows, chanting words quietly spoken.

 

Lightning flashes; color cascades through windows across the pallid floor.

Huddled sightseers chase hovering winged signs for the “divine tour”

through midair; flying behind red velvet ropes while flashing photos.

 

Silence… spectators exit, knights kneel,

divergence shatters into union. 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs