Knowing how busy July was likely to be, I think I may have been overly optimistic in my end of June post; I should have realised that I would be struggling to get to all the reading events and would just end up going for comforting reads or following my reading muse! I *have* managed to read one book for Spanish and Portuguese Lit Month, though I haven’t got very far with my many Parisian books for Paris in July. However, I”ve not completely failed with that one, as I’ve been dipping into a lovely poetry collection during the month, and it’s turned out to be a real joy.

The book is an Everyman Library Pocket Poets edition, “Poems of Paris” and I picked it up at the start of the year, from Bookshop.org; I have a couple of books in the Everyman series, and they’re beautifully produced little hardback collections which are a pleasure to read (I definitely have a Baudelaire and a Russian collection!)

I know Pound can be a bit dodgy, but I find these two lines very evocative…

As with my Russian volume, this is divided into sections, and features a really dazzling array of poets. There are French writers, in translation: Baudelaire, Verlaine, Soupault, Prevert, Villon, Breton, Mallarme, Gerard de Nerval – well, I could go on listing them, but my goodness what a lot of stellar talent. Then there are the visitors, the exiles who passed through or stayed in the City of Light or those who left their hearts there – ranging from Wilde, Pound, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Elizabeth Bishop and Langston Hughes, to poets like Henri Cole, whose work speaks so eloquently of Paris.

Another short but effective verse, this time from Langston Hughes, some whose work I really want to explore more…

“Poems of Paris” succeeds in being a joy to read on so many levels; it’s a lovely object in its own right, a gorgeous little hardback that sits easily in the hand, with the poems printed on creamy paper and with a ribbon bookmark bound in. But most importantly, the contents are stunning; the works selected roam far and wide over the city in all its guises and over centuries. Whether exploring the ‘Food and Drink’ of Paris, ‘Tourists’ and their viewpoints, ‘The Arts’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Love’ or many other aspects, the poetry selected is moving, evocative and often unforgettable.

A beautiful work by Osip Mandelstam

I’m trying to pace myself with this anthology as it’s so enjoyable, so I won’t finish it before the end of July, but it’s keeping me daily company and I’m loving it. So I’ve shared some images of a few of my favourites (which you may need to click to see a bigger version), although it was hard to choose; and if you want a selection of verse that really gets to the heart of Paris, I can highly recommend this book!!