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The Nurse, the Admiral and the Duke

There is a duality that is often prevalent when power and humanism are pitted against each other, particularly in a historical and nationalistic context. This poem explores the positioning of monuments within the Cathedral.

 

Buffered between the two mighty tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale’s monument is more modest in its design. The deep autumnal colour of the marble coupled with its haunting simplicity evokes something irrevocably benign and tender about the posture of both nurse and patient, while positioned either side of Florence sit a pair of overseeing polished mountains containing the heavy names of two men whose business was far removed from the preservation of life.

 

Anaxagorou feels that the arrangement in the crypt is therefore symbolic, and the various ways the integrity and heroism of the selfless and philanthropic somehow always surpassed or was made to feel peripheral when contrasted with the legacy associated with military men and their innumerous acts of valor during war.

Rise Up

Patience Agbabi

First to Last Watch

Inua Ellams

The Nurse, the Admiral and the Duke

Anthony Anaxagourou

Reconstruction

Deanna Rodger

In the Whispering Gallery

Kei Miller