About Un été à Coblence...

This month’s poem borrows its title from Edouard Manet’s famous Painting, Déjeuner sur l'herbe, but is inspired by the family gathering in Marie-France’s gorgeous scene, Un été à Coblence.

Spoken from the view point of the artist, this memoir celebrates a day when her family gathered in Summer’s garden. She muses that the wind was their “sly proprietor” who served them with the pleasurable scent of lavender and pine while playfully re-arranging their feminine hairstyles so they looked breeze-blown or “wantonly chic.”

Nearby, the older brothers were smiling at their sisters and had knowledge of some surprise soon to be revealed. The speaker confesses how she tried to guess what they were hiding, some special news that could range from an engagement ring to keys for a new sports car. As she contemplated a list of possibilities, her imagination wandered into wishful thinking. It could have been one of her fondest dreams, tickets to see singer, Gilbert Bécaud, in concert. Suddenly, two songs from his latest album haunted her mind. She heard the tune of “Et maintenant,” (And now), paired with “Je reviens te chercher”, (I return to look for you). Like the meaning of the name, Coblence where two rivers converge at the city’s edge, this day invokes the confluence of temperatures, melodies and a past pleasure mixing with the present joy of remembering it.

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.