I went to Paris about a week ago in order to fly home. I had an evening layover in the most romantic city in the world. My mission was to find the old bookstore Shakespeare and Company. I had the help of a man, who was kind enough to point out some landmarks as he sent me in the correct direction to the store. Did you know that if a bridge has an "N" on it, it was built during the reign of Napoleon III? Although it wasn't the famous Napoleon I, that's still pretty cool, right? I'm getting off track here. I finally located the store and immediately fell in love. The weathered books, the old stacks, the wooden ladders, the old typewriters.... The ambiance itself stirred a hunger to write. (I wasn't supposed to take pictures... but I couldn't resist...)
I love that quote, "Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise".
Through the doorway you can see there was a poetry reading occurring in the back portion of the store. Are you falling in love yet? I thought so.
Seeing as I was in Paris, and in search of a French book in an English store (oops), I decided to purchase a bilingual edition of Twentieth Century French Poetry from Random House. After reading a few poems, I came across a beautiful line that I needed to reprint here. The poem is from Richard Wilbur, and it's called "Le pont Mirabeau" (Mirabeau Bridge). The line is as follows (I printed both the French and English versions directly from the book, so if you are bilingual, I realize that yes the English version is not completely accurate, but the translation was meant to stay true to the rhyming code and the theme of the poem.)
Paris, the city of love, and I imagine plenty of heartbreak too.