In the poem "The Voice You hear..." by Thomas Lux, what does cathedral mean?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that the poet uses this word to invoke the idea that your mind is a place that is both quiet and in some way holy or above the physical world.

A real cathedral is a place where you go to be quiet and to escape from the reality of the every day world.  The services in a cathedral and the meditation you can do take you to a higher plane of existence.

I think that the poet is saying that a similar thing happens when you read.  When you read, you can retreat into a cathedral where you are taken away from the physical realities and problems of your everyday life.  You are instead transported to a different plane of existence.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

A cathedral is a large church, the official location of the chair or see from which a religious leader delivers wisdom and authority. The image indicates that our own wisdom and authority come from ourselves, from our own minds, as we are guided by all the literature we have read and all the experience and feelings we have ever had. Thus the “dark cathedral” of our skulls is not only the receiver of wisdom through our individual acts of reading silently, but it is also the “chair” from which we deliver our own wisdom to the world.

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