In Paris With You

eiffel_tour_0 (1)The problem of my predilection for long novels is that they lead periods of prolonged silence here.

As I have a knee-high stack of long novels to follow up my current bulky read – Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour – I’ve decided to pepper my posts with poetry. Studying Literature at university made me a real old poetry cynic; it was too easy to snaffle high marks by fancifully proclaiming any random truth to be revealed by a mystical muddle of assonance and imbalanced rhythm. But as university becomes a distant, increasingly pleasant memory, I find myself falling in love (or should I say, in Paris) with the experience of reading poetry again.

This first is a beautiful, quirky bit of verse brought to my attention through the most thought-provoking blog I’ve found in a long time – the wise and frighteningly widely-read The Bully Pulpit.

In Paris With You

Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage. I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.

Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy

Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris with… all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.

James Fenton

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