Christopher’s  Pearl

I know your silhouette so well,
your Baroque rotundity a pearl
that has adorned the skyline
for three centuries and more,
and survived the destructive fires of war.
You have witnessed eminent
weddings, funerals and celebrations,
of which reverberations
still whisper round your gallery,
an everlasting litany.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

St Paul's Cathedral Silhouette

Image found on Pinterest

My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: Buildings

This weekend I am hosting the Weekend Mini Challenge, which was inspired by one of my favourite poems by Philip Larkin: ‘The Building. What I like about it is the way in which the poem conveys the physical appearance and atmosphere of a hospital without once using the term ‘hospital’, through the use of certain words and connotations.

This weekend’s mini challenge is to write about a building. It could be a specific building with a name that we would all know without directly naming it. It could be a church, a school or a building in which you have lived. It could be a department store, a government building or a concert hall. It is up to the reader to work out what the building is. Our poems do not have to consist of nine stanzas like Larkin’s and can be in any form we choose, but they must be new poems.

See if you can work out which building I have written about!


23 thoughts on “Christopher’s  Pearl

  1. “…still whisper round your gallery,
    an everlasting litany.”

    Yes! This is what brought the poem home for me. The building has witnessed much of mankind, good and bad… and possibly even a few nearly anonymous indiscretions as well. Your poem does a nice work of giving the building a human character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve got it, Sarah! I agree about the cranes. Not long ago I went down to London to read a poem at an anthology launch and, during the day, we decided to go on a short boat trip on the Thames, as we hadn’t done anything like that for a long while. We agreed that the London skyline is almost unrecognisable.


    1. When you think that he was originally a scientist and mathematician, as well as professor of astronomy, before he became an architect, and that he designed 51 new city churches, as well as St Paul’s Cathedral, all replaced after the Great Fire of London, he was extraordinary! My personal favourite is the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.


  2. What a lovely tribute to a place I always visit when I’m lucky enough to get to London! It’s become tradition for me to light candles for loved ones in one of the little chapels.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfection! I love the title of this and of the picture you drew. I have visited St. Paul’s several times when I have been in London – no matter the season, no matter if snowing or sun, it is definitely a gorgeous pearl. How lucky you were to work close by!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was thinking, and still am, Kim, that it could (now, “also could) be the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin, Italy. We’ve been there, it fits your poem nicely. Nice riddle, not see if you can guess mine. I have the answer posted below the poem.
    This was a fun prompt, fun to write for. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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