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Category Archives: Poetry

Visitors welcome: family and friends in Paris

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C-L-I-C-H-É

In French a cliché means:
1. (printing) A stereoplate or stereotype. 
2. (photography) A negative. A snapshot.
3. Something that is overused so that its original meaning is lost. 

Cliche photos of Eiffel Tower and negatives

On your day of arrival you complained
about the UHT milk in your tea.
Our first job was to find some fresh
so it didn’t taste all sweet and funky.

After a stroll to show you round the quartier,
tired and hungry we found a café
at place Voltaire where the croque monsieur
was cheap and delish, and came with chips.

That night we hung out chez des amis
and I laughed as you both sank into the drink.
More followed at the bar, la Laverie,
but some crepes helped take off the edge before bed.

Plans must be stuck to and my walking tour
was scheduled the next morning: join the group.
But you fell asleep twice! Did I bore you?
Or is it just not the best hangover cure?

We saw the Eiffel tower, image reversed,
in the background of a pouting selfie.
Snapped just at the right time at dusk,
first it burns orange then magic! Eek it’s all sparkly!

Before your train I took you to that white thing on the hill
and we mimicked the models from fashion week.
We strutted down the streets of the butte of Montmartre.
Wait, is that Chloe Delav..? No. Not quite as chic.

Kept our eyes peeled for any boulangerie,
peering in the windows to see if they had
almond macaroons like you get at home
in England. In Patisserie Valerie.

The stay was short, my eyes tear up when you leave me.
I’m tired though from the sightseeing, the touristing.
But it was fun, I enjoyed helping you see
The postcard perfect view of Paris.

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Segovia: like the first day

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Tomás Segovia

1927-2011. Born in Spain and exiled during the civil war to Mexico. 

I am taken with Segovia’s poem at the moment and wanted to share it with you. A translated poem will never be faithful to the original; the nature of poetry won’t allow it. So I find my English version is terribly lacking, but here they are!

Como el primer día

Como el primer día
de mi llegada aquí,
a veces la memoria se me pierde
y me encuentro yacente por el suelo
sin hueso ni contorno
ignorando qué vida de qué mundo
de qué recuerdo es ésta.

-Pero tú no me olvides,
dulce tierra sin rostro
cuyo recuerdo pierdo a cada instante,
cuyo sabor me escapa,
cuyos ojos de amor no reconozco.

Oh, no me olvides, me memoria es viento;
me disuelvo en la noche día a día
si tú no guardas algo
de este turbio latido
que derramado apenas humedece
tu vasta frente donde la memoria
es oscura y sin fin como un olvido.

Like the First Day

Like the first day
Of my arrival here,
Sometimes my memory is lost
And I find myself lying on the ground
With no bones, no outline
Not knowing which life, from which world,
From which memory this is.

But you don’t forget me,
sweet, faceless earth
whose memory I lose every moment,
whose taste eludes me
whose loving eyes I don’t recognise.

Oh, don’t forget me, my memory is like wind;
I dissolve night after night
If you don’t keep something
Of this murky pulse
Which, when shed, scarcely dampens
Your vast forehead where memory
As as dark and endless as oblivion.

Do you speak Spanish? If so, any ideas? If not, go learn it and get back to me, please!

A very metallic affair

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S-C-A-F-F-O-L-D-I-N-G

Picture of Scaffolding in Paris

Ready to climb the highest buildings.

I see you in town everywhere,
Like others I must stop and stare.
Your strength and your size
Elicit my cries,
My very metallic affair.

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A poem on appearance and other attributes.

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V-A-L-U-E

Can you tell me that I’m beautiful?
Can you tell me that I’m sexy
And that my brown, almond eyes are captivating?
Can you call me doll face,
Gorgeous, Angel, Baby?
Will you please just tell me
That my new dress is stunning,
That I look slim and you can’t even tell that I’ve put on 5lbs?

Can you tell me that I’m beautiful?
You’ve not mentioned my new haircut,
Are you not gonna say
How you like the way that it frames my pretty face?
Don’t ask how much it cost,
How much it all costs to look this way.
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