• Joanna Seldon

  • The Albert Memorial


    Pharaoh-like, golden, seated on a throne

    Within that high pavilion wrought by hands

    Heavy, Victorian (George Gilbert Scott),

    The dead Consort surveys his dream: a land


    Of learning – Albertopolis museums,

    Offshoot of that other vision (crystal

    Creation), British craft boasting to

    Empire and world. Come, gaze at what we made.


    Now, see that girl there on the grass in front

    Of the memorial: striving almost

    As Albert would have wished – trying hard

    To do a handstand.  Up; two seconds’ thrust


    And then she’s down.  So up again.  A split

    Second longer this time.  Kicks up once more,

    Straightens her legs; holds still; unfolds back down.

    Try on!  Cry of a dead Consort’s stone lips.