Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paris dans le Calme

she picks her place to stay by a conjunction of names:
Charing Cross at Gare Saint-Lazare. one of six, she marks
the other stations on the map - Austerlitz, Bercy, Est, Lyon, Nord

in her room with no real window. in the night, she listens
to the trains, their constant arriving and leaving, a second layer
to this city named after a kelitc tribe that settled here bc: the Parisii

her second day in Paris. by now, she knows
where the next bus stop is, and which line to take
to get to the centre, which looks so close on the map.

bus 42 takes her along the Champs-Elysses,
to the Place de la Concorde, easily recognized by the l'Obelisque.
it's all surrounded by TV trucks that day, speaking a language
she doesn't know, a language formed by signs
three millenniums ago: triangle over water, circle inside cirlce

at the end of the Tuilerie Gardens: l’Orangerie
once the winter home to the king’s tropic plants,
it now surrounds lakes of water lilies
painted and assembled by Claude Monet
as a resting place – an impressionist reflection pond
in between all those busy city streets.

she walks through the glass lobby,
then slows in front of a sign with a suggested
mode for visiting the place: dans le calme -
in a calm state.

she enters, follows the water, the paint brushs,
walks in a circle, and in another circle
inside and outside of a pond, of a city,
of simultaneous past and present
here, there.

this post...
belongs to and is inspired by the language/place blog carnival #11: "Streets, Signs, Directions"

the photos...
are from Paris. more of the city, here in this blog: moments from Paris
+ practical travel and museum advice: Paris travel advice

related links...
some previous carnival posts: life as a journey of language & place


Anonymous said...

i love the "in a calm state" sign. wonderful!

Linda said...

Ah, the photos, the words... such justice to this lovely city I have graced but once, 15 years ago. I remember the banana and caramel crepes, the colorful cafes, drinking Anisette in the evening, the Tuileries, the beautiful women, the quiet alleys after midnight. Thank you. Peace...

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to go there, for sure! In the meantime, some lily pads.... Thank you Dorothee, and thanks for doing such a great job with the carnival. :)

Dorothee said...

thanks for the feedback. glad you enjoy the moments. - the "in a calm state" sign was such a thoughtful advise - both for the museum, and for visiting other places in Paris. afterwards, i walked along the Seine: more water reflections. it's a special city.

Brigita said...

Wonderful post that read like a goodbye to the city that I left only a few days earlier.