PHOENIX RISING JULY P.A.D. TRAVELOG – DESTINATION: POETRY (NOTRE DAME de PARIS CATHEDRAL)

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement (district) of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture.

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior. The paint has worn off, but the gray stone was once covered with vivid colors.

We return to Paris to visit another iconic location. Let the muse use this location as its inspiration. The architecture, the location, the gargoyles, even the bell towers (Yes, Quasimodo Lives!) are fair game.

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12 thoughts on “PHOENIX RISING JULY P.A.D. TRAVELOG – DESTINATION: POETRY (NOTRE DAME de PARIS CATHEDRAL)

  1. Te link is to my rambling account of a day trip to Paris with my son and grandson, three years ago, https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/more-paris/ .
    The first time I saw Paris, when said son was 15, it was freezing cold and we sat over a hot air vent in Notre Dame, and the second time was with my new husband, one freezing February and the same hot air vent was enjoyed. I had flu.
    There followed many visits for seminars and exams while I was studying for my Open University degree, but those two first trips stand out in my memory.

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  2. July 23 – Notre Dame

    Honorable Mention

    Man’s attempt to glorify God
    Through architectural wonders
    Causes pause to worldly eyes
    Yet purpose meaninglessly lost
    The designers get the accolades
    History ensures their notoriety
    Most designers on the other hand
    Did not do it for self or fame
    But to glorify the One True God
    Who may get honorable mention
    Or no mention at all

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  3. connielpeters

    What If?

    I’ve been alone
    in large church buildings
    at night
    and I know
    how creepy it can be.
    What would it be like
    to be locked up
    in Notre Dame Cathedral
    on a quiet
    moonlit night?
    The creaks, the statues,
    the stained-glass shadows.
    Would one
    start believing
    in ghosts?

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  4. William Preston

    NOTRE DAME DE PARIS

    When it was built,
    most of Paris lived on the island;
    when it was built,
    the people of Paris built it
    over the years,
    over the decades,
    over the centuries.
    When it was built,
    it was a cathedral,
    a church,
    a sanctuary,
    a home.
    When it was built,
    it stood over all the huts on the island,
    reaching for heaven
    so that Our Lady might smile on it;
    standing over the homes and people of Paris
    so that Our Lady might smile on them,
    for it was built at a time when
    a church was the people’s house.

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  5. Paris.
    I was there.
    The rain-sleeked
    streets never dried,
    staining the city steel.


    [I interrupt this poem to thank y’all for the fantastic prompt and excellent responses. I humbly add mine to the list (first time submitting here, though I’ve been browsing for months). Cheers! -Sweeper of Dreams]

    (When the rain silvered more,
    you could have taken it for
    Granite. Glinting in the street lamps,
    glittering through the fogged
    net where cigarette smoke
    settles to socialize and sense
    the dull sharpening of the world.)

    I loved steel.
    I loved the streets,
    small dog shits and all.
    I loved fumbling through
    Desolees and Parlez-vous Anglais?
    I really loved the way the
    lined, lean men gobbled me up
    with famished eyes. Nobody owned me;
    I braced, I softened.
    Brazened.

    The rose window of Notre Dame
    watched me come and go. Watched the men,
    the dogs, the rain, the streets, blanketing us
    with shards of appraisal. Rainbows.
    They gave me the creeps. Guilt, or something.
    I hid from her, sliding round the curves
    of the beetle-green Metra pole,
    down into the absinthe hole,
    I hid from her, my Rose. I hid from her in Paris,
    from her glances there, from all shades of them.
    Green.

    Later, I would find salvation jaune at
    Notre Dame de la Garde. But that is an
    otro conversation, altogether, one for
    the sun-burnt squeaky café tables
    tucked round the docks in Marseilles,
    between the abandon of Paris and the peacocks of Barcelona.

    Stick to the story – C’est la vie.

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  6. On Gargoyles

    Why sculpt ugly animals
    just to rid a building
    of water? Why not
    an angel whose wings
    would divert water
    from walls of building,
    even structures
    of complexity,
    like Notre Dame.
    Since it was built
    as a Catholic school,
    angels would be preferable
    to demons. Chimeras
    make me shiver.

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  7. […] for Phoenix Rising, Day 23 Image from Flickr Commons-00: No restrictions, no limitations. Cornell University Library Digital […]

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  8. […] PHOENIX RISING JULY P.A.D. TRAVELOG – DESTINATION: POETRY (NOTRE DAME de PARIS CATHEDRAL) […]

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  9. THE BELL’S SANCTUARY

    They sit silent.
    Looking down upon Paris
    like the many stone sentinels who sit
    perched along the high pitched walls.
    The sanctuary offered is embraced,
    a hiding place from whence their song emanate.
    The deformed bellman lives no more,
    the score as written does not play.
    There is no song today;
    the bells hide away.

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