Holiday Erasure

I have never seen Paris so charming as on this last Christmas Day. The weather put in a claim to a share in the fun, the sky was radiant and the air as soft and pure as a southern spring. It was a day to spend in the streets and all the world did so. I passed it strolling half over the city and wherever I turned I found the entertainment that a pedestrian relishes. What people love Paris for became almost absurdly obvious charm, beguilement, diversion were stamped upon everything. I confess that, privately, I kept thinking of Prince Bismarck and wishing he might take a turn upon the boulevards. Not that they would have flustered him much, I suppose, for, after all, the boulevards are not human, but the whole spectacle seemed a supreme reminder of the fact so constantly present at this time to the reflective mind–the amazing elasticity of France. Beaten and humiliated on a scale without precedent, despoiled, dishonored, bled to death financially–all this but yesterday–Paris is today in outward aspect as radiant, as prosperous, as instinct with her own peculiar genius as if her sky had never known a cloud. The friendly stranger cannot refuse an admiring glance to this mystery of wealth and thrift and energy and good spirits. I don’t know how Berlin looked on Christmas Day, though Christmas-keeping is a German specialty, but I greatly doubt whether its aspect would have appealed so irresistibly to the sympathies of the impartial observer. With the approach of Christmas here the whole line of the boulevards is bordered on each side with a row of little booths for the sale — for the sale of everything conceivable. The width of the classic asphalt is so ample that they form no serious obstruction, and the scene, in the evening especially, presents a picturesque combination of the rustic fair and the highest Parisian civilization. You may buy anything in the line of trifles in the world, from a cotton nightcap to an orange neatly pricked in blue letters with the name of the young lady–Adele or Ernestine–to whom you may gallantly desire to present it. On the other side of the crowded channel the regular shops present their glittering portals, decorated for the occasion with the latest refinements of the trade. The confectioners in particular are amazing, the rows of marvelous bonbonnieres look like precious sixteenth-century caskets and reliquaries, chiseled by Florentine artists, in the glass cases of great museums. The bonbonniere, in its elaborate and impertinent uselessness, is certainly the consummate flower of material luxury; it seems to bloom, with its petals of satin and its pistils of gold, upon the very apex of the tree of civilization.

(from “Paris, Christmas, 1876” – Henry James)

on this last Christmas
radiant and as soft
as spring
over the city
love became obvious
stamped upon everything
the boulevards are not human, but
Paris today
with her own sky
wealth and thrift and energy and good spirits

I doubt Christmas
is so ample
in the evening buy anything
blue letters
glittering portals
The confectioners
like Florentine artists
in elaborate uselessness
seems to bloom,
upon the tree

Paris' Christmas

Paris’ Christmas (Photo credit: naixn)

holiday erasure

For WWP Holiday Found Poetry (the second poem used the Erasure site mentioned)


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Found Poetry, Poetry, Prompts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Holiday Erasure

  1. claudia says:

    oh very cool… last year i was in paris shortly before christmas… and it was just magical to walk down la champs d’elysees with all the christmas lights up already…sigh… wishing you a wonderful blessed christmas..

  2. brian miller says:

    that is awesome…love the cut out poetry..or found poetry…i would love christmas in paris…that would be very cool….i like the magic in that last bit….happy holiday to you and your fam…

  3. O! O! O!
    How else to express?

  4. slpmartin says:

    Indeed quite interesting.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      At the very least it was an interesting experiment. I enjoy trying new forms (though this isn’t completely new to me). Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    Hey Yousei–always an interesting technique–I’d love to see it written out! James a great candidate! Hope all is well and that you are looking forward to a great holiday. k.

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