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Today I'm sharing my first Summer Poem Swap arrival (which actually arrived quite a while ago). Thanks to Tabatha some of us Poetry Friday regulars are receiving little gifts of poetry all summer; she's been organizing this for a few years now. My gifter this time is Margaret Simon, who heard that I was traveling to France and--most reasonably--assumed Paris.
It's true that I have been to Paris; indeed while IN the south of France for yet another 4th of July, we realized that it was exactly the 10th anniversary of my family's Great Move to Paris, when we exchanged our house with a French family and moved to Vincennes, juste à côté du deuxième arrondissement, more or less across the street from a castle. We spent only a year there, but all that Margaret has included in her dream of a poem was part of it. When we returned we fell back into life American-style so quickly and thoroughly that it felt like Paris actually had been a dream!
Luckily Margaret has that covered too; along with her poem, she sent a happy handcrafted exhortation to "BELIEVE" that it all really happened, and to "imagine you ARE heaven." I'm not sure I can go that far, but having returned for just one beautiful evening to Paris, I can easily imagine that I was IN heaven! I do long to live in France again--but perhaps in the south this time, along the Mediterranean...
I especially enjoyed (being, as I was once called, the love child of Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings) how Margaret slipped in a few choice lines from Edward Estlin--can you pick them out? And of course I must write a little response poem! I'll work off of Margaret's piece and put in some of my similar but specific memories...isn't French a beautiful language?
She moved to Paris--
was it a dream?--
floating over the river Seine
gliding through the Chateau de Vincennes
with new life in her love.
Paris spoke to her
in the silence of her listening,
the rush of the Metro,
the mélodie of the markets.
She marveled at espaces magnifiques,
spiral acres of concrete and
cobble, miles of white night.
Paris entered her
like Nutella on daily pain,
sucre citron and crêpes de sarrasin,
goûter de Papi Gâteau.
She moved through Paris as in heaven.
Thank you, Margaret, for the inspiration of your pieces, and thank you to Katie at The Logonauts for doing the rounding up today!