In not very long I aim to put up a couple of photographs from some of my visits to York's various churches, focussing on its stained glass windows but of course also including other features. As an introduction - or perhaps a teaser - I present to you a picture taken at St. Denys Church, Walmgate, showing Robert de Skelton, a York citizen, holding up a replica of the window he donated to the church at about 1340. When I first saw the painting I was immensely intrigued by it, and somehow I got the idea that this man was the glazier himself, holding up his own craftsmanship before God. Later on I learned that this was not the case, but at that point I had already composed a short verse praising the painting as a cenotaph for the glazier. The premise of the poem is in other words false, but I hope nonetheless that some artistic freedom will be granted, and that you will agree the painting can still justifiably be called the anonymous glazier's monument if not his cenotaph.
The Glazier's Cenotaph
St. Denys' Church, York
Crafted from strange flesh he moves - as light
Allows - his hands at Heaven in piety,
Offering the glass he inhabits. The bright
Shimmer at noon emulates the ruby perfectly
As glass casts its blood on tread-worn tiles. "Here lies"
The letters read, while the glazier's cenotaph,
Fixed between earth and Heaven of his own craft
Filters the light for what is born and dies.
- September 15-16 2011