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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Gentle Landing



Empire State Building: photo by Psongco, 2006

There was that ancient dream of a gentle landing
She leapt, and floated down, a would-be bride
Convinced she "wouldn't make a good wife for anybody"
And landed somehow in a posture of calm repose
As though the sheet metal she had crumpled
With the heavy crash of her plummeting weight
Had turned into a bed of soft vinyl
To cushion her fall. A moment of fame in death.

Eighty-two storeys from the Observation
Tower. The photo of the week.

The body of Evelyn McHale, 23, atop a limousine after she jumped to her death from the observation platform of the Empire State Building: photo by Robert C. Wiles, Life, 12 May 1947


Julia said...

Totalmente conmovedor, Tom.

How sad. How much beauty!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how she could have landed in such an orderly way, looking so touchingly beautiful. I used to work in Rockefeller Center in the old Eastern Airlines Building across from the building that housed Lazard Freres. One of their employees jumped and landed on a car outside my window. (I was on a lower floor.) That was quite different and it sounded like a cannon shot when the man hit the car. This must have sounded similar -- or not?

TC said...

Yes Julia, so sad, so lovely, such a loss, the most beautiful suicide in the world (do those words mean anything at all?).

Curtis, your (very scary) experience sounds more like what one imagines of such a ghastly scene. Nothing remotely gentle about it. The physics of the thing would tell us this girl who leapt from The Building would have had to make an even louder landing.

E said...

A much belated hope that her end was a peaceful as it looks.

Altho there's something terribly wrong with her stockings

TC said...

Yes, she's lost her shoes -- and falling at that speed, my heavens, how could one keep one's stockings straight.