The Prostitute of Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris (Photo credit: analox & admiréIt was July of 1978

It was 1975

I had entered the great cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris

There in his majestic place of worship

A prostitute sat in the last row…

Breasts overflowing like two bolsters

Her cabrioles stretched wide

Her patinated countenance concealed with ceruse

Yet her person was incised into the pew

Her newel was humanity

Who could hold a candle to her truth

The peacefulness of the sanctuary was a grommet to her soul

Her soul was the finial

I was the trug

* * * * * *

DEFINITIONS: [bolsters (long pillows);  cabrioles (thick fat legs); patinated (weathered look of copperf/bronze); ceruse (pigment composed of white lead); incise (engrave); newel (central post of a circular stairway); grommet (eyelet to protect an opening); finial (ornament at the tip of a lamp); trug (shallow basket)]

* * * * * *

© 2012 Jane H. Johann and johannisthinking.wordpress.com
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7 thoughts on “The Prostitute of Notre Dame

  1. clarabetty says:

    One of your most beautiful poems-even if I don’t understand all the words.

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  2. Thank you for your kind words, Miss Betty!

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  3. bolsters (long pillows); cabrioles (thick fat legs); patinated (weathered look of copperf/bronze); ceruse (pigment composed of white lead);newel (central post of a circular stairway); grommet (eyelet to protect an opening); finial (ornament at the tip of a lamp); trug (shallow basket)

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    • clarabetty says:

      That makes it easier to understand. What a ingenuous way to use the archiechial terms.h get the analogy except for the shallow basket -were you comparing yourself to the cathedral or to the prostitute? After all, our humanity is part of the newel and our soul is also the finial.

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  4. I was comparing myself to the Prostitute. I thought how judgmental I was of her…twenty years have passed…and now, I see, WHY would I think myself more holy???

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    • clarabetty says:

      You see, I took it the other way as you were saying you were lower for there is not many things as lowly as a basket, that is passed around and used for service. But I guess the prostitute was too, the difference, being , perhaps that she was not doing it willingly to serve the Lord, but out of necessity.

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  5. Mary Lois Alford says:

    On first reading, I got the general gist of the poem, yet had to look up some of the words to get their true meaning. (Thank you for adding the definitions.) I think using these similes and metaphors within your poem is ingenious.

    Like

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