Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shakespeare and Company

Some people call me the the Don Quixote of the Latin Quarter
Because my head is so far 
Up in the clouds that I
Can imagine all of us are
Angels in paradise
And instead of being a bonafide bookseller I
Am just like a 
Frustrated novelist

This store has rooms
Like chapters in a novel
And the fact is Tolstoy
And Dostoevsky are
More real to me than
My next door neighbors
And even stranger to me
Is the fact that even before
I was born Dostoevsky
Wrote the story of my life
In a book called 'The
Idiot' and ever since
Reading it I have been

Searching for the 
Heroine, a girl called
Natasia Filipovanya.
One hundred years
Ago my bookstore
Was a wine shop
Hidden from the Seine
By an annex of the
Hotel Dieu Hospital
Which has since 
Been demolished
And replaced by 
A garden.
Further back in the

Year 1600, our
Whole building was
A monastery called
'La Maison du Mustier.'
In medieval times
Each monastery had
A frere lampier
Whose duty was to
Light the lamps at
   Nightfall.
I have been doing 
This for fifty years
Now it is my 
Daughter's turn.
-Paris Wall Newspaper Jan 1, 2004, on Shakespeare and Company

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