Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Literary Pilgrimage to Paris — Martin

My love of literature is only one of the many reasons I had for visiting Paris this summer. The first reason being our 25th anniversary, and that neither my wife Gloria, nor I, had ever been across the Atlantic. Paris, of course, has such a rich history, with beautiful architecture, and wonderful art galleries such as the Louvre, which houses the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo — and the Musée D’Orsay, where the work of such impressionists as Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh are exhibited. It is, also, said to be the city of love.

Paris is the home of Notre Dame Cathedral where the story of the hunchback takes place. Even the hotel where we stayed is the Hotel Victor Hugo. It’s called that because it’s close to Place Victor Hugo, named in honour of the novelist; another nearby street is Rue Paul Valéry — a well-known French poet. O, how good it is to be in a city where they value their poets!

For me Paris is also the city of Ernest Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald — and even of Canadian novelist Morley Callaghan, who spent a summer in their company back in 1929. To people-watch from a smoky Parisienne café, makes me feel just that little bit closer to these greats.

Seeing people coming up out of the Metro — the Paris subway — I couldn’t help but think of the fascinating little two-line poem by Ezra Pound, called
“In A Station of the Metro”:
-----------The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
-----------Petals on a wet, black bough.

While riding in a coach through the English countryside, I was reading from an English poet — in a book I’d just found in a used bookshop — a poem about a Van Gogh painting, which I was familiar with from a book at home, but had also seen up close in Paris the week before.

As a writer these are all good reasons to travel to a city as inspiring as Paris.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at:

Visit Kingdom Poets, and become a "follower" or post a comment!

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Congratulations to you and your Beloved! Gay Paris -- what a great place to celebrate your 25th.
And thank you for another inspiring peek into the world of art and culture.

Popular Posts