The Poetry Place

John Clare in a Paris bar 6

Tuesday, 5 May 2009 11:27:17

Tuesday, 5 May 2009 11:27:17
I've adapted the ending - extending it and changing some lines.
I love to see the glasses neatly lined
The tumblers with their drinking straws in place
I love to see the bottles ready and uncorked
And tables stained with ancient food and beer
I like the waitress leaning half way o'er
The long dark bar and where the patron
From his hiding place pushes the drapes
Aside to issue forth with crepes and cafe noir
I love the outside tables where the sign swings
Above Parisians with cigarettes and phones
Their empty espresso cups a cool excuse to stay
Escaping April breezes, appointments,
To read the sport, the situations vacant:
Time out to watch,  text, write, to read and play.

I think it reads fairly well - but it does have extra resonance if you have Clare's Sonnet in the back of your mind.


John Clare in a Paris Bar 5

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 16:18:44

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 16:18:44
Just a few tweaks here and there.  I resisted the temptation to turn it into a sonnet.  Though it may still happen...

I love to see the glasses neatly lined
The tumblers with their drinking straws in place
I love to see the bottles ready and uncorked
And tables stained with ancient food and beer
I like the waitress leaning half way o'er
The long dark bar and where the patron
From his hiding place pushes the drapes
Aside to issue forth with crepes and cafe noir
I love the outside tables where the sign swings out
Above Parisians with cigarettes and phones
Their empty espresso cups the one excuse to stay
And where they watch,  text, write, read and play.


John Clare in a Paris Bar 4

Tuesday, 28 April 2009 12:02:35

Tuesday, 28 April 2009 12:02:35
Just to see what I've got so far and how it looks:

I love to see the glasses neatly lined
The tumbler with the drinking straws in place
I love to see the bottles ready and uncorked
And tables stained with ancient food and beer
I like the waitress leanng half way o'er
The long dark bar and where the patron
From his hiding place pushes the drapes
Aside to issue forth with crepes and cafe noir
I love the outside tables where the sign swings out
Over Parisians with mobile phones and cigarettes
Their empty espresso cups the one excuse to stay
and where they idle, watch,  text, write, read and play...

Blimey - it's almost a sonnet!


John Clare in a Paris Bar 3

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 8:18:10

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 8:18:10

I want to bring in something of the cafe exterior - so important to those kinds of places. (Outside Parisians smoke, phone, text, write, read, empty espresso cups, ashtray lighter menu memo pad and pen.)

I love the outside tables where the sign swings out
over parisians with mobile phones and cigarettes
empty espresso cups their one excuse to stay
and where    text, write, read, play....????

Away for a few days.  Back with some inspiration, I hope.


John Clare in a Paris Bar 2

Friday, 17 April 2009 14:48:25

Friday, 17 April 2009 14:48:25
I love to see the glasses neatly lined
The tumbler with the drinking straws in place
I love to see the bottles ready and uncorked
And tables stained with ancient food and beer
I like the waitress leanng half way o'er
The long dark bar and where the patron
From his hiding place pushes the drapes
Aside to issue forth with crepes and cafe noir.

It's really interesting to experience how  the presence in the background of one poem can influence (and help, I think) the making of another.   The last few lines have been flung on the page rather quickly so there's a need to reflect now.


John Clare in a Paris Bar

Thursday, 16 April 2009 12:25:32

Thursday, 16 April 2009 12:25:32
I realised I'd been reading John Clare's Sonnet a little too often as I found myself writing:
I love to see the glasses neatly lined
And then I thought, why not? His technique is a simple one which I could adopt / adapt...

I love to see the bottles ready and uncorked
And tables stained with ancient food and beer
I like the waitress leanng half way o'er
The long dark bar


Welcome Back

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:21:17

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:21:17
Easter is past, NATE Conference is over.  How nice to meet up with the folk from Teachit there - and all those wonderful NATE members. A special hello to those of you who were in my workshop!

I've been riffling / rifling through notes and jottings and came up with some possible starting points for poems.  I had the leasure of teaching at the ELSA Conference in Paris a few weeks ago and, of course, had to sit in a cafe in Montmartre, drink a pastis and watch the passers by.  Looking at my jottings, I found this (spelling and handwriting corrected):

Bar one of many. Not far from Abbesses Metro stop. Art Deco/nouveau? Style. Accordion player outside!  Here = Silver teapots jugs  Bottles in a double line  St James Martini Capari Pastis  And sixteen of red already uncorked  Well worn bar  rocky bar stools  Catering sized cling film  Eight pression taps  Outside Parisians smoke, phone, text, write, read, empty espresso cups, ashtray lighter menu memo pad and pen.  glasses neatly lined  The tumbler with the drinking straws in place

What can be made from any of that?


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