Friday, July 21, 2017

paradis de Paris

Read about Poetry Friday here!
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?

Paris Parle

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.

HM 2017

Thank you, Margaret, for the inspiration of your pieces, and thank you to Katie at The Logonauts for doing the rounding up today!


  1. I want to go! You guys describe Paris so deliciously and dreamily. *happy sigh*

    1. I second that! Delicious and dreamy.

  2. What a dream! Paris alas exists for me only in my imagination, but perhaps one day it will exist in my memories, as well!

  3. I didn't know you had lived there for a year! How wonderful, Heidi, as is Margaret's poem special for you, and your reply. Love that "melted butter on croissant" and your "mélodie of the markets". C'est une collaboration formidable!

  4. Oh, my goodness.... if this doesn't make me want to buy a ticket and hop a plane I don't know what does? Lovely words, both of you! The silence of a cathedral and the melodie of the market. Both are things I"m jealous you have experienced. Someday, I'll get there. What a lovely exchange and poetic conversation between you two.

  5. My gift for you has grown into something more beautiful with this post and your response poem. I love how these exchanges create a stronger connection. I didn't know anything when I wrote the poem and now we all know more about who you are.

  6. What a wonderful collaborative effort was reached through this conversation sparked by poetry. Ah, Paris, how I long to be there, Heidi. Little did I know that you lived there. Thank you for sharing the experience. Margaret's gift of poetry to you was filled with sentiments and luscious thoughts, especially the last stanza. I love the artwork also.

    As an aside, your image poem of France is a beautiful, serene one to grace the walls of Sunkissed Summer Gallery. I have featured it in my celebration post on my blog today.

  7. The next best thing to traveling is reading these delights! Love the poetry conversation.

  8. Two delicious poems to savor and imagine life in France. I feel like I've almost been there--and would love to visit for real one day. I would have to brush up on my French quite a bit.

  9. Ooh! I love both poems and this entire entry! It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since you were living in France. Wow. Time flies!

  10. Both poetic visits are lovely and so unlike anything I've ever experienced over here. Oh, to be a traveler...

  11. You had me at Nutella! No, seriously, what a fun pair of poems!!

  12. Sigh. These are both so lovely. Where's my passport?

  13. Yay! You brought back Paris in the summer. The fountains, the relentless blue, the arcing bridges, the crowds of tourists, the difficulty of finding a French restaurant and the giving up and having sushi before we fainted.

  14. Très magnifique to both Heidi and Margaret, lovely poems! And now please pass me some of these lovely edible delectables.

  15. Your poem affected life?! Yes, you can share your lovely poem and its great "after story" with the world... Submit now on


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!