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English Literature & Poetry English Literature & Poetry

Literary References in Pictures Literary References in Pictures

England England


Lake District
Langdale Pikes
Boris Pasternak
Loughrigg Tarn

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The whole wide world is a cathedral

The whole wide world is a cathedral
The lake is like a giant saucer;
Beyond - a gathering of clouds;
Like stern and dazzling mountain-ranges
Their massif the horizon crowds.

And with the light that swiftly changes,
The landscape never stays the same.
One moment clad in sooty shadows,
The next - the woods are all aflame.

When, after days of rainy weather,
The heavy curtain is withdrawn,
How festive is the sky, burst open!
How full of triumph is the lawn!

The wind dies down, the distance lightens,
And sunshine spreads upon the grass;
The steaming foliage is translucent
Like figures in stained-window glass.

Thus from the church's narrow windows
In glimmering crowns, on spreading wings
Gaze into time in sleepless vigil
Saints, hermits, prophets, angels, kings.

The whole wide world is a cathedral;
I stand inside, the air is calm,
And from afar at times there reaches
My ear the echo of a psalm.

World, Nature, Universe's Essence,
With secret trembling, to the end,
I will thy long and moving service
In tears of happiness attend.

Boris Pasternak

Translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater

greenburn, [esc27], Barry Arnold, Sabine Remy and 3 other people have particularly liked this photo

6 comments - The latest ones
A beautiful picture and the words are indeed a perfect match
4 years ago.
Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen
What a lovely shot !!
Picture-postcard perfect !!
4 years ago.
Maria Ismanah
Maria Ismanah
So wonderful - and the title and poem go so well with it!
Thank you for sharing
4 years ago.
Sabine Remy
Sabine Remy
This is a real WOW-photo! Stunning!
4 years ago.
Great composition...........excellent photo!!
4 years ago.
Barry Arnold
Barry Arnold
Wonderful - I love the lakes.
4 years ago.