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Sunday, 15 July 2012

France and all things French


For Manicddaily's Poetics : a French Twist at dVerse Poets.


Idiosyncratic images
have always formed
my effigies of France and all things French,
my private iconography:
Brie and Balzac by The Eiffel Tower.
Lovely jubbly - which reminds,
soon hopefully to be
Champagne and Claret in the Champs Elysées
when Wiggins - or when Froome -
have won the Tour de France,
the greatest sporting conquest
that the world has ever seen
by many an Alpine climb.

It was not alway so...
all those years of thinking we'd done well
just having someone IN the thing!

But even in my bike race days
it was not always so for me:
French Art was tops.
France was my Bohemian,
the child who didn't take to rules
and didn't fear the rod.
Macon in Montmartre would have been the job.
And after that it would have been
French kissing followed by French letters.
These are the images of France
that have made my juices run.

21 comments:

Claudia said...

so you did bike racing..? very cool.. there are some things french that make my juices run as well and french kissing is surely one of it..smiles..most of all i admire their independent spirit i think and their sense of belonging

Jenny Woolf said...

I love being on the bike but I don't like racing. It stops me noticing what's around me if I am competitive. That is entirely apart from the fact that I have always been the slowest thing around.
"Effigies" - an interesting choice of word. Made me realise that to me it always has slightly negative connotations although actually there is no reason it should.

Polly said...

Lots of french twists here :)

Brian Miller said...

France was my Bohemian,
the child who didn't take to rules
and didn't fear the rod...nice...i rather like the attitude in that...and french kissing has been known to get my juices flowing...smiles....

manicddaily said...

One's tastes change with age like wine - you've caught that here! k.

David Francis Barker said...

Fabulous take David, I love this. And I agree, I am a non too secret admirer of the French and their idiosyncrasies. They need to be different in a world dominated by the English language.

Lydia said...

Your poem was like a bike tour through your mental images of France. Very alive; I felt/saw them all.

A Cuban In London said...

I'm glad you acknowledged the Bohemian in French culture. That was my introduction to it. And one of the reason that led me to lern the language. Beautiful poem that avoids the usual cliches of baguettes and berets. :-)

Greetings from London.

Laurie Kolp said...

I can honestly say ditto to all the above.

kaykuala said...

Dave,
Is it given willingly, all French (fries,kissing,leave,loaf,letters). Ok by me as we are all the richer language-wise. Very detailed French take!

Hank

Strummed Words said...

A lot of interesting memories! The Brie and the bubbly intrigue me the most.

Charles Miller said...

I admire your love of bike racing, the Tour being for which the French should indeed be admired, especially since Americans have won it so many times! :) I lean more towards the artists early on, though recently the love of France by the American Founders gains my respect. Great stuff, as usual, Dave!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I feel very close to the whole atmosphere of this poem, what struck me in particular is the expression "lovely jubbly": I see it written for the first time after having heard it thousand times by Dadid Jason ( Del Boy) in the absolutely mythcal Only Fools And Horses.
Buying a further VHS in the 90's of that series was one of my favourite treats coming back from England or Ireland.

Carl said...

Very Cool. I enjoyed your slant on France.

Leovi said...

Magnificent poem!

Mary said...

Hi Dave...If you were a child who didn't take to rules, this strikes me as very French. I think French make their own rules or follow their own rules.

A short tale for you. I had a French penfriend. I visited her for a week in Grenoble. At another time she came to the US to visit me. In France they do not tip. In America they DO tip. As a 'thank you' for her visit (and staying with me, etc) she wanted to take me out to a restaurant to dinner. The bill came. She was going to leave the EXACT amount. I informed her of the necessity of leaving a tip, adding on some dollars. She absolutely refused!! Stated in France they do NOT tip. I ended up giving money for the tip, as the service was good and it would have been rude to allow just the price of the check to be paid. She had no guilt whatsoever. I think if one wants to do things the French way one should stay in France. I thin we all need to adapt to the customs of the country we visit. I guess I will just say it -- I don't think this is easy for the French. I ramble here, I know. All because of thinking of 'French rules.'

ds said...

Ha--great twists here! Thank you.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Beautifully done! I really enjoyed it.

haricot said...

My imaginations fly to France through your lines. They are concrete images though I remember the " existentialism " that flourished in the quartier of Montmartre.

Dave King said...

Claudia
I sure agree with you on the last two points. Like our respective languages, it's impossible to disentangle ourselves now.

Jenny
I did a lot of leisurely touring as well! (More of that.) I agree with you about "effigies". I chose it for its euphony, but looked hard for an alternative before I let it pass.

Polly
Hi there, great to have your company. You are very welcome. Thank you so much for the comment.

Brian
I like it that you chose that section. Thanks.

manicddaily
They do indeed. I'm definitely not the person I was!

David
Yes, agreed. I think the language is a big part of our sometimes niggling relationship.
Thank you for your visit and your comment. Great to have you aboard.

Lydia
Thank you for your very kind comment. Much appreciated.

A Cuban in London
Thanks so much. Good to know that you thought this.

Laurie
Thank you. This means a lot to me.

Hank
Agree absolutely with the language remark. Thanks for.

Strummed words
Ah, great times...if only!

Charles
Yes, nothing here with which I'd disagree. Thanks for the observations.

Tommaso
Spot on. It is a direct quote from Del Boy! It wasn't intended, but suggested itslef as I typed, and had the advantage that it suggested "bubbly".

Carl
Thanks Carl. Good to know.

Leovi
Many thanks for this. Much valued.

Mary
Thanks Mary. I have a friend who's a bit like that. I enjoyed your story and agree with your summing up. Absolutely, I do.

ds
Thanks. Much appreciated.

Madeleine
Good to know. Much thanks.

haricot
Yes, indeed. I suppose that's where I came in!

chromapoesy.com said...

A wonderful list, for me it is cinema and philosophy but so many other things. Sorry I am so late in my visit as life tore me away for a few days.