And trade is art, and art's philosophy,
In Paris.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
Aurora Leigh, 1857





Forgotten Lore

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered,
    weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of
    forgotten lore

-Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, 1845





All Was Still (Notre Dame)

And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner





Flames of the Night (Sainte-Chapelle)

Whatever flames upon the night
Man's own resinous heart has fed.

-William Butler Yeats,
Two Songs from a Play, 1928





A Maker of Patterns (Sainte-Chapelle)

A mathematician, like a painter or a poet,
is a maker of patterns.
If his patterns are more permanent than theirs,
it is because they are made with ideas.

-Godfrey Harold Hardy,
A Mathematician's Apology, 1940





Burning Roof (Conciergerie)

The broken wall, the burning roof and tower,
And Agamemnon dead.

-William Butler Yeats,
Leda and the Swan, 1928





Passing in the Night
(from our window at the small but cozy Hotel Central)

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and distant voice in the darkness;
So the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and silence.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Tales of a Wayside Inn, Part III,
The Theologian's Tale
, 1873





Between the Light and Me (Hotel Central)

Between the light--and me--
And then the Windows failed--and then
I could not see to see--

-Emily Dickinson,
I Heard a Fly Buzz





Dark Wisdom (statue of Napoleon, Invalides)

Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast....

-Alexander Pope,
An Essay on Man, 1733





Silent Form (Rodin Museum)

  Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth Eternity: Cold Pastoral!
  When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

-John Keats,
Ode on a Grecian Urn, 1819





Face of Silence (Rodin Museum)

Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
  Thou foster-child of silence and slow time

-John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn





Window Niche (Rodin Museum)

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
    How statue-like I see thee stand,

-Edgar Allan Poe,
To Helen, 1831





Riding the Storm (Arc De Triomphe)

God moves in a mysterious way,
    His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
    And rides upon the storm.

-William Cowper,
Light Shining Out of Darkness, 1772





The Phantom Listener (Pont d'léna)

But only a host of phantom listeners
    That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
    To that voice from the world of men

-Walter De La Mare, The Listeners





In the West Garden (Place Des Vosges)

The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden

-Ezra Pound, The River-merchant's Wife: A Letter





A Lantern Aloft (Place Des Vosges)

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Tales of a Wayside Inn, Part I,
Paul Revere's Ride
, 1863





Hope Springs Eternal (Place Des Vosges)

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope,
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733






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images © 1998 by Randy Wang
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