La différence


You called me Marie Antoinette
in (pretend) jest
Knowing full well she wasn’t even French
You took aim, sipping Earl Grey
I loaded my pistol with clever quips and intellect
You replied with British wit, threw Maugham in my face
Quoted William Blake
Defied me with Oscar Wilde
Meanwhile
I had Voltaire, Molière and Baudelaire
You decried our catholic habits
I riposted with a line on heretics
It got worse – a sick thirst for the absurd
Propelling some kind of makeshift hearse

Nothing is as sordid as a Republic

I am disgusted by your monarchy

’twas a war between two countries
Like most wars, of course unnecessary

This battle with no soldiers and two generals could not end well

On a morning bathed in silvery light, the frost invaded the forest and a passing stag raised its head, aware of the taste of death in the air

You shot one last time, for real at last
I was hit through the heart
I fell draped in my flag
A tragic Marianne
Blood spreading on my chest
Staining my Coco Chanel
Taking on the shape
Of red poisonous flowers – the stuff of Lovecraft Nightmares

The sky suddenly burst open and it rained champagne
Like it should have on Hugo’s barricades
When Gavroche gave his last breath among other Miserables
With a song on his lips and without complaint
Never let it be said
The French are in any way mundane
We even die with a fanfare
And you, executer and witness
You covered me with your Burberry trench – must have been quite a wrench
Your British anguish
On realising how foolish
You’d been
Was nothing less than extraordinary
Unfortunately it was too late
La différence could no longer be embraced

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51 thoughts on “La différence

  1. Omg I can’t believe you thought this was less than worthy! Not only are you are so smart- I only know half these people in passing, lol- you can even make them rhyme! 😋 Seriously, you are talented. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So you write this?:

    On a morning bathed in silvery light, the frost invaded the forest and a passing stag raised its head, aware of the taste of death in the air

    And then reference Lovecraft and then pretend that, when I read this, My heart isn’t trying to pound out of my chest, in love with your gorgeous mind… 😂💞😙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wow this is beautiful, I officially love you, Oscar Wilde my literary hero, Victor Hugo and Gavroche the miserable gamin, Less miserables is the best book I ever read, French greatest literary gift to humanity. your poem is amazing patriot!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is awesome, Nathalie. I love the battle over art (culture) between these two generals. There’s something wonderful and patriotic about that until, of course, the line is crossed. Truthfully, I wish our generals would battle over who has the best poetry and music, and leave the soldiers at home. 🙂 ❤ Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! I’m dead chuffed you liked it so much! Yes, soldiers should be left at home and if that’s not possible, their weapons should be art and culture (not at all being an idealist today, ha!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hear! Hear! Only a talented Frog can throw such English back at the eternal enemy. 🙂
    Or, maybe, the reason why we have fought for so long is that we are really alike?
    And yes, better Marianne than Marie-Antoinette.
    Oh, and do tell your English Nemesis:
    Please, thank Theresa May(be) for her non-services.
    She does not deserve England. We know. There is no England without France,
    and mayhap, vice-versa.
    🙂
    Tous mes compliments Nathalie. Now, being the offended, maybe you should chosen the foil?
    Le fleuret is a more noble way to die.
    Again: Hear! Hear!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha j’adore ce commentaire! Le fleuret, en effet, est beaucoup plus noble, n’est ce pas? Je suis tellement fière d’être une grenouille pleine de talent 😂
      Vive la France, bien sûr! 🇫🇷

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Le fleuret n’est qu’un trait de plus de mon éducation d’un autre siècle. 🙂
        Et oui madame la grenouille, vous avez du talent. A revendre.
        Et bien sûr, Vive la France. Montjoie Saint-Denis, Taïaut et toute cette sorte de choses. (Ça ne m’empêche pas de me ronger les ongles jusqu’à Dimanche…)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. PS. En plus d’être très bien écrit, j’ai bien ri.
    Maugham, Blake, Wilde?
    On aurait pu rajouter qu’ils n’ont que Shakespeare, quand nous pouvons aligner Corneille, Molière et Racine. (Pour commencer). (I know, I’m a bloody Frog)
    Bz

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ‘The sky suddenly burst open and it rained champagne
    Like it should have on Hugo’s barricades’

    Well written! It was witty, your references were on point, and your intellect was on display here. Vive la France!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “This battle with no soldiers and two generals could not end well”.-

    — ❤

    Excellent poem… La différence (which I believe could even be related with Brexit, somehow) could no longer be embraced. There is such a rich background here. I even thought of Karl Marx´s "Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon".
    From its preface: "People make their own history, but they do not make it however they want, not under self-selected circumstances, but out of the actual given and transmitted situation. The traditions of all the dead generations burden, like a nightmare, the minds of the living"….

    Sending love, ma belle! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A war of pride, arrogance and accomplishments. The fiercest and most upsetting battles are between friends.
    I really enjoyed this, Nat, it seized me by the throat and left me gasping. Your words are sharp and precise and I felt each blow as the laughter died and the anger took over. Fantastic stuff, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hahaha… Burberry trench! Can’t stand the brand.
    I might hate all brands. Well, I love the poem.
    I hate the idea of branding. I love your poem.
    The band plays on. They have no brand. They play for the love of it.
    They love to make music, their music. No one buys it.
    Only I hear.
    I hear a jewel in the dark.
    I love your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Arwen, Aragorn, or whatever your name is, I am none other than Detective Tony Pastry of New Scotland Yard. My informant has told me that you are the Red Herring, the notorious art thief. And my informant is very reliable: He recently sold me the Moon for £500 and a pint of mild. He’s very big in NASA, you know. He has also informed me that the Pink Panther films are not fictitious but are in fact a series of documentaries about a real Inspector Clouseau. Since then I have modelled my entire career on Clouseau’s achievements and it has not been easy, I can tell you. If you do not immediately hand yourself in at the nearest police station, I will have to come and put you under arrest.

    Liked by 1 person

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