day’s end

Edward Burne-Jones Judgment Day stained glass window, Birmingham Cathedral

The day’s nearly over, but I still have time to publish a post commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. The main image above is a detail from a stained glass window he designed for St. Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham.

I knew I had a photo of one of the Burne-Jones windows, but had forgotten that it was entitled The Last Judgement. Now its subject matter has reminded me of the sky I photographed one evening recently, which was a beautiful, if somewhat disturbing, brimstone yellow.

yellow sunset skyThe world didn’t end that night, though, and despite the signs and portents, the gale-force winds and torrential downpours we’ve had since them, we’ve also had some glorious summer sunshine.

This erratic mix is presumably one of the things that makes the weather such a popular topic for discussion in England. It’s also what causes such meteorological joys as the double rainbow we saw yesterday evening.

double rainbow

Photographs – at least my photographs – seldom do justice to the reality, but they do sometimes help preserve a memory. Poems can do the same.

Since we started the post with the window depicting the end of days, let’s finish with a poem about day’s end.


The day ebbs orange
from the sky. Twilight
seeps into cracks
between bricks
and paving stones,
fills up the spaces
in the air and deadens
the iridescent chattering
of starlings in city eaves.

It’s a good piece to end this post with, not just because of the orange sky and the rainbow colours of the birds, but because the place where I used to watch those starlings flock in to roost at dusk was Birmingham, the city where Burne-Jones was born. I think most of the buildings in the centre are draped with netting now, and the birds have had to go elsewhere; I’d probably have forgotten them if I hadn’t put them in a poem.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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