Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.”
And that was it – I was hooked! I think The City in the Sea was my first true love in poetry when I was at primary school and I still love to read it aloud today. So I had to pay my respects when I went to Baltimore.
This part of Baltimore houses some of the University of Maryland’s faculties, notably Medicine and is impressive but Westminster Hall stands out.
Just down the road is a Davidge Hall – said to be haunted by the ghosts of those taken from the churchyard here by Ressurectionists for dissection by students.
Lexington Market is not far away but if I were you I wouldn’t go there despite what the guidebooks say. No doubt it used to be a very good market but the area has seen more prosperous times and the evidence of drugs is not hard to see in the vicinity of the market. You can tell by the way meat is laid out that this is a poor area – trays full of offal, chicken wings, giblets, tripes and turkey necks bear witness to the fact that many of the punters hereabouts buy the cheapest cuts. There’s nothing wrong with that… It was just a stark reality compared to the other city markets.
In the past we have visited Oscar Wilde, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Jim Morrison, Jean Paul Sartre, George Eliot, Marx… and we laid a rose for Berlioz but even by those standards this was a special day and it was also just the day before the anniversary of his death.
No one will ever visit my grave when I’m gone. I hope some of my writing may survive me, I hope some people may remember my name for a while… but they won’t find anything else that remains – my ashes will be scattered at sea.