Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jacques Prévert....

Amongst all the reasons why I'll never be a cool Parisian (a. I don't live there b. just look at me, etc, etc.), according to Olivier Magny at Stuff Parisians Like, real Parisians like to know about good exhibits going on in the city, but they would never deign to go to one, that's for the tourists and the bored ex pat housewives.

But I'm going to Paris in November and I'd like to see the new exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville 'Jacques Prévert: Paris la Belle'.

I read Prévert at university and he has remained one of my favorite French poets. Originally I liked him because his poems were so easy to read, meaning I could understand his language without having to look every word up in the dictionary. Then of course, like a lot of poetry, it dawns on you that the meaning has nothing to do with the words....

I like him now for reasons similar to why I like Neruda. I adore the simplistic language that conjures up so much imagery without pandering to verbose, archaic, 'poetic' pretension. He writes of lovers, Paris, angst, politics, humor. It's the black and white language of Paris after the war.

Prévert wrote poetry (Paroles, Spectacle) and screenplays (Les Enfants du Paradise, Le Jour Se Leve). He collaborated with artists (Miro, Picasso) and photographers (Izis Bidermanas, Robert Doisneau). He created works that have remained relevant for several decades and are now being celebrated by the exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville from the 24th of October until the 31st of January.

I'll leave you with one of his poems from Paroles:


Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie.

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