Poems & Paris

Things | Jorge Juis Borges

My cane, my pocket change, this ring of keys,
The obedient lock, the belated notes
The few days left to me will not find time
To read, the deck of cards, the tabletop,
A book, and crushed in its pages the withered
Violet, monument to an afternoon
Undoubtedly unforgettable, now forgotten,
The mirror in the west where a red sunrise
Blazes its illusion. How many things,
Files, doorsills, atlases, wine glasses, nails,
Serve us like slaves who never say a word,
Blind and so mysteriously reserved.
They will endure beyond our vanishing;
And they will never know that we have gone.

I have been packing books and enjoying the end of summer. We’re moving now in a few weeks (hopefully — if my husband doesn’t have to have yet another surgery.) but I’ve managed to indulge in a few decadent French books lately, including Cheri and Gigi by Colette (the first but far from the last time I read her!) and Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Yum. Thank you Paris in July participants for inspiring me in that direction, I thoroughly enjoyed unofficially joining in. I’m thrilled to have discovered Colette, finally a female French writer who’s not afraid of her own sexuality! After seeing Midnight in Paris (which is wonderful), I was briefly on a 1920s F. Scott Fitzgerald kick in an effort to get out of the creaky moralizing 19th century, but now I have been savouring some of my old friend Proust again.

I keep thinking up long and complicated things to write here, but then don’t have the time to anymore what with packing and a family wedding and reunion coming up (and hopefully I’ll be starting some courses in the fall, if my funding comes through and we’re able to move on time, so I will continue to be busy). Today I was packing up the poetry books, saw Borges and remembered this poem. In the past I’ve tried to keep poetry blogs, so I thought I would try a little more of that here and keep things short and sweet.

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4 thoughts on “Poems & Paris

  1. thecaptivereader says:

    So glad you've discovered Colette! Also, I just saw Midnight in Paris this afternoon and thought it was so much fun! Scott and Zelda, Hemingway (who was hilarious), Gertrude and Alice, and so many others…wonderful! And, of course, Paris!

  2. Eva says:

    I LOVE that photograph! Just perfect. 🙂 Isn't Colette wonderful? I lurve her! I was unofficially inspired by Paris in July as well.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Midnight in Paris was a lot of fun, especially the Hemingway schtick.

    Thanks, Eva! I wish I took more pictures, it's an enjoyable hobby.

    I'll be happy to oblige on the poetry front! The only problem is narrowing down which ones to post.

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