Tag Archives: france

fatalité

ablaze

Victor Hugo had cried for her in his foreword… And it took a book (“Notre Dame de Paris“) to trigger major restoration works, as the elderly lady was notably suffering from severe erosion to time, history and the elements.

What happened last night felt totally surreal. Notre-Dame has survived so many ordeals – human assaults, the hands from time – and during those 850 years (or so), she saw a city grow and thrive.

Inside her so many memories. Her world famous bell – le bourdon – became associated with so many events (including the liberation of Paris in 1944) happy or sad… And against all odds, she has been standing in this Parisian sky.

Last night, my heart bled at the news, and this orange-grey cloud – flames from her heart, as the 19th century spire yielded to a raging fire that engulfed the forest – this nickname given to those 1300 oak trees that served as timber frame to support that huge slate roof.

Like millions of people around the world, I watched powerless, in disbelief, and heaved the following poem, as a tribute or way to cope with shock.

La forêt

Ô Notre Dame,
    ta forêt brûle, ton coeur en flammes!

Une forêt de chênes
         de cent mètres de long,
une forêt de chênes
         charpentée par des anges,
une forêt de chênes 
         anoblie par les âges;

toute une nuit orangée a dévoré ta flèche, ton coeur et
ta charpente -

une forêt de chênes,
         maison pour un bossu et son Esméralda...

toute une nuit d'horreur, pluie battante d'ardoises
retrouvées en poussière à l'issue 
                           d'un déluge -

une forêt de chênes au XXIe siècle toute 
                                      réduite en cendres,

ton coeur, ce cher poumon,
                     au plus proche des âmes.


©Nat Hall 2019

The Forest

 
Ô Notre Dame,
    your forest burns - your heart in flames!

A forest of oak trees
                long of a hundred yards,
a forest of oak trees
              carpented by angels,
a forest of oak trees
              enobled through ages;

it took one orange night to
devour your heart, spire and timber frame -

a forest of oak trees
once homed Esmeralda and her loving hunchback,

one single night of hell in
a deluge of slate as tiles turned into dust -

a forest of oak trees that neared
               a millenium now reduced in ashes.

Your heart, this dearest lung,
                     so close to all our souls.

© Nat Hall 2019

Photo credit to Le Monde for both images. Merci.

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hurt

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Sur la terre des droits de l’homme

Fanaticism, brain washing, indoctrination and ignorance should have no place. And yet… A trio attempted to silence freedom of expression.
It’s like walking backwards… They think they can stop a concept with bullets. Correction: they created a movement of solidarity by spilling blood.
I can’t believe Cabu – who cartooned my every Wednesday afternoon as a teenager – fell among eleven other souls… I can’t come to terms with such act of barbarity in the first place.
Politics can backfire in so many different ways. Terrorism has so many faces.

Yet as one cannot stop terrorism, one cannot equally silence freedom of expression (unless dictatorship overrides democracy).

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May the many pencils rise against tyranny – may the world unite

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Monsieur Voltaire would embrace it.

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All images courtesy of Charlie Hebdo Support Community

My sympathy goes to all the victims’ families, as well as to all those victim of intolerance, terrorism, fanaticism & oppression of any kind.

My greatest fear resides in the fact some people may be misled by some politicians and vote for even more dangerous political etiquettes… A few 20th century leaders who led their countries to annihilation were elected this way. They (such politicians) feed on this.
Furthermore,
common people are not responsible for their government’s foreign & economic policies, as governments are governed in strange ways & obey rules of unreachable mercantile nature (the masses cannot reach) once politicians are elected… (When nations are granted such right to vote).

Democracy has long lost its primeval meaning. And it hurts.

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