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Lay for the Day
7th June

After Mumtaz Mahal died, on this day in 1629, her husband, Shah Jahan, had the Taj Mahal built as her mausoleum.
From the book of Praises:

91. Of a Snapshot

Skinny in white on the Taj Mahal’s terrace,
the nailhead dent of a three-quarter moon
on the noon-blue where the pierced, vanishing
clouds leave by the top right-hand corner…

They made one of each, the wonder-workers.
In the mausoleum’s millionth repeat
the dwarfed self-conscious standing in mid-step
on the marble ’s unique. I wouldn’t give it
for all the holes in this stone screen or curves
of inlay, of carving or of domes.

Make, over the years, a numb tide of feet
stop and match its unplanned self against you,
and remind the votive eyes in procession,
pressed to viewfinders, what’s worth taking care for.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar

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