Tuesday, January 23, 2007


In Paris with You

Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage, I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.

Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess that I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre.
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysees
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that,
To what and whom.
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
This little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris…with all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.

James Fenton may be a baldy coot with a lugubrious Oxonian voice, but he is also one of the most underated poets writing in English today.

You can hear him read 'Paris' here. 'Jerusalem' is also worth a listen. If anything as pertinent to the mess in the Middle East today has been written I have yet to hear it.


SID said...

Cheers for that Garfy!



MHN for short said...




Diggin' it Garfer. You really need to come to Houston and visit us. I think that you, the hubby and I would have much to discuss. :-)

AND, now that I have employment, we could afford to go out. :-)

Rowan said...

ooooh I like it!
Never heard of him till now, but enjoyed that poem immensely.