How does our perspective change what we build and the legacy we leave? Delving into the nooks, crannies and crevices of the Cathedral, the poem explores different types of creation, and considers how individual appropriation and perception of the space differs based on what knowledge or experience is available.


The poem looks at why and how the Cathedral has come into being and what has informed its architectural shape and cultural significance. For example, it is possible that Christopher Wren’s experience as an astronomer is projected onto the Cathedral architecture and design.


The Cathedral appears as a palimpsest, a multi-layered physical testimony of experience, with artworks and architecture as portals into different perspectives. The Henry Moore Mother and Child statue changes with every angle you see it at, and the Palestinian Mary and Jesus painting offers an alternative perspective on mother and child. Crowds gather to watch the martyrs in Bill Viola’s installations, while the marble sculpture of John Donne, one of the only things to survive the Great Fire of London, looks on from further down the corridor.


‘What will you build before you die?’

Rise Up

Patience Agbabi

First to Last Watch

Inua Ellams

The Nurse, the Admiral and the Duke

Anthony Anaxagourou


Deanna Rodger

In the Whispering Gallery

Kei Miller