A Memorial Day Meditation: Danby White

You see a lot of white marble in Washington, D. C. It has been turned into great buildings and monuments by craft workers of many skills. You see much of it at Arlington National Cemetery and other monuments in and around the national capital. Much of it came from the white marble quarry in Danby, Vermont. One notable example is the Jefferson Memorial. Here is a meditation on the marble from that quarry and its evocations for Memorial Day after a summer trip that took us to both Danby, Vermont and the Arlington National Cemetery.

Danby White

The marble rose from Danby’s depths—alive

with Earth’s fire cooling yet inside its veins.

Now, shaped and polished, carved by craftsmen skilled

in shaping life from stone, returns to shade

the graves of tender men who died before

they lived—the boys whose manhood came with loss

of breath and blood, whose lovers knew but grief

before they knew the grace of tender youth.

A full-bloom rose is carved upon the cold

flat face of polished rock that smoldered once

in fiery caves below the ground that holds

the cold remains of youth who lived and died

unloved. No fragrant flower attends with tears

their passage through these caverns into night.

                                                May 25, 2001

Author: Lake Jackson Citizen

I volunteer as a photographer for our local community theater. I have opinions about politics and believe it should be every American's duty to become informed and participate in the discussion of issues. I began this blog to be able to stay in touch in ways I used to on Facebook. I deleted that account recently and hope to be able to share photographs and information relating to cultural and political events in our community. I am retired after a career in social work and post-secondary​ education.

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