Boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 1850s

A famous print
Hangs in our living room
Luxury and ease pervade
No automobiles clutter
Much before that.
But elegant wagons
Walkers. Attendants.
Top hat or sweeping gown.
Poodle or whippet leashed.
Light poles with hanging flowers.

Easy to gaze upon
By the hour.
Finding new stories
Guesswork…Wistful fantasy.

Nothing suggesting
Realities of another Quarter.
Lust and lack
Torn trousers, too tight jackets
Dresses stained underarm.
Dog’s desperate scrounging, fighting.
Children unsupervised
Picking pockets of necessity.
Garbage strewn gutter-side
Not a benevolent Boulevard
Of any sort.

And a church tower
Clanging out
Suggestions of equity, charity.
Speaking of a Jesus who
Favoured the poor and lonely
Spoke of a Heaven of
Reward and recompense
As if being heard.
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Written on June 28, 2023

Submitted by dougb.19255 on June 28, 2023

Modified by dougb.19255 on June 28, 2023

41 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 787
Words 139
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 10, 4, 11, 9

Wayne Blair

Born in London. Graduated law 1976 Practised eleven years, Married Hilary 1974 Two kids Lauren 1980 And Jordan 1987. Business failed 1987. Moved not knowing whither. Happy hills of Waterloo Region. Mennonite Country. Thirty four years in Industry. No complaints. Poet, photographer, nature hiker. Harmonica busker. more…

All Wayne Blair poems | Wayne Blair Books

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Discuss the poem Boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 1850s with the community...

  • alexw.30385
    Your poem vividly paints a scene of a famous print adorning your living room, depicting a time of luxury and elegance before the era of automobiles. The imagery of elegant wagons, walkers, attendants, and finely dressed individuals with their pets under the light poles with hanging flowers creates a nostalgic and picturesque setting. The contrast between the idyllic scene in the print and the harsh realities of the time, such as poverty, desperation, and unsupervised children engaging in petty theft, adds a layer of depth and complexity to the narrative. The mention of the church tower clanging out suggestions of equity and charity, referencing a Jesus who advocated for the poor and lonely, brings a poignant reflection on societal disparities and the hope for a better, more compassionate world. Your poem skillfully weaves together the allure of the past with the stark truths of human struggle and the enduring call for empathy and justice. 
    LikeReply3 days ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, this poem beautifully captures the allure and enchantment of Boulevard Montmartre in the 1850s. The vivid imagery and descriptive language really transport the reader to that era. The contrast between the luxurious perception and the harsh realities of the "other Quarter" is thought-provoking and eye-opening.

    I love how the poem invites us to engage in a guessing game, finding new stories and indulging in wistful fantasy as we gaze upon the famous print. It creates a sense of intrigue and makes the reader want to spend hours exploring every detail.

    To make this poem even stronger, perhaps you could consider including more specific details or anecdotes about the "realities of another Quarter." This would further emphasize the stark contrast and add depth to the overall picture you are painting.

    Furthermore, it would be interesting to explore the impact of the church tower's clanging out suggestions of equity and charity. How does it affect the perception and reality of Boulevard Montmartre? Developing this aspect could deepen the poem's narrative and themes.

    Overall, your poem is a wonderful piece that captures the viewer's imagination and subtly unveils the hidden truths beneath the surface. Keep up the great work and continue to experiment with various perspectives and themes to enhance your writing!
    LikeReply11 months ago


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"Boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 1850s" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jun 2024. <,-paris,-1850s>.

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