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Pantheon Elevation by Susanne Mocka
( Edition Lidiarte, Berlin, copyright )

A Poem by Nicholas James Doro
University of Notre-Dame

Intrigued but unaware I approach the massive,
round-topped hulk that so many centuries have shared

I slow my gait and halt for a brief pause
Under a portico of a monolithic forest
I feel the forces of nature tectonics and laws

These preluding stone trumpets sound the entrance
and resonate throughout
While those ordered punctuations of support
dictate my route

With a humble light treading of boot-heels
I loose the openess of the portico enclosure
Passing by where a cyclopean door seals

I breech the vaulted mediating passage
While the ingresser's view is framed
A revealed mesmerizing source of light flashes

A view, A glimpse
The roar of the gods and the dancing
of the satyrs and nymphs

A universe of unity
A map of antique illusions
An enclosing endurance and harmony


Interior of Pantheon, Rome
Painting by Pannini in c. 1750

I cannot help but be humbled
as I stumble over my toes
A craned neck, with shoulders slumped back
Pending a smell of respect to fill my nose

With the apogee of the sun angled right
I see a woman
Like an angel standing in a shaft of light

Saturn's chariot rays in a bundled beam
But they bounce and bathe
the volume in an oculus stream

Light playing on the different concrete and stone color
Gets woven with geometric patterns
Pleasing Jupiter, Neptune,
and Pluto, the bident bearing darker brother

My thirsty eyes try to drink it all down
As the coiffured dome rises from the spring-line
Whispers of strength and awe resound

I feel peace and comfort and my brain starts to shift
The spherical proportions and balance
give a feeling that the vault could actually lift

I close my eyes...Turning to the hot busy street
Smile to myself knowing any day, at least for a while
This whole scene can repeat


Design of a Protestant Church in Karlsruhe, c. 1790
by Friedrich Weinbrenner, Karlsruhe ( 1766-1826 )


Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples


Villa Rotanda, Vicenza by Andrea Palladio ( 1566-1567 )
Engraving by O. Bertotti Scamozzi ( 1788 )