Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Postcard from Geneva- St Peter's.

Up a short, cobbled path, past steep walls,
In Old Geneva, stands St. Peter's,
A grand vision of the medieval mind.
The soaring, stained- glass windowed vault rises
On buttressed walls, huge stone blocks, giant columns,
Six pink granite pillars and corkscrew stairwells
To its heaven-reaching towers and spires.
Eighty years in construction,
It has a rich and diverse history.
Catholic cardinals and Huguenot dukes 
Lie under its great stone slabs.
John Calvin and his reformers worshipped here.
In their plain spirit and reforming zeal
They stripped it of its iconography
But not its power or grandeur.
The Protestant Church of Geneva
Has for centuries worshipped here.
It is partly theirs, Calvin's and Rome's,
But most especially it belongs
To those simple folk, stonemasons and peasants
Who, one thousand years ago, laboured and built,
Amidst poverty and the violence of their age
And dreamed of a building soaring high above
Their present strife, almost to heaven itself.

St. Peter's, Geneva.

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