The Anathemata

Rite and Fore-time (continued)

(Ossifica, trussed with ferric rods, the failing numinab  of column and entablaturec, the genii of spire and triforiumd, like great rivals met when all is done, nod recognition across the cramped repeats of their dead selves.)

David Jones notes

additional notes


We are now looking at the internal architecture of the church.

The numina are failing because of the petrifying effect of modern materials and building methods.

Syntactically, ‘their dead selves’ refers back to ‘genii’.

semantic structures


a ossific: bony; decayed into rigidity.

b numen (pl. numina) : the divine power or spirit associated with a particular site.

c entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave (the supporting member immediately above; equivalent to the lintel in post and lintel construction), the frieze (an unmolded strip that may or may not be ornamented), and the cornice (the projecting member below the pediment).

d triforium: space in a church above the nave arcade, below the clerestory, and extending over the vaults, or ceilings, of the side aisles.