Scenes de La Vie Province Honore de Balzac
Scenes de La Vie Province
Honore de Balzac

I have seen the original works of a great French writer,

His words and phrases redacted by his hand;

Marking through lines, endeavoring to make his ideas more cogent,

Relevant to generations of readers he will never meet.


La maison where he wrote of his observations of human interaction;

On the periphery, now;

The city in which he studied so closely.


I have seen the monument to this great writer, built in Père Lechaise,

Overlooking this city

In which he intricately describes in his writings;

Only words now.

Balzac's tomb  Pere lachaise cemeterie
Balzac’s tomb
Pere lachaise cemeterie

[In September, David and I returned to Paris for a week of vacation. For this particular trip, we agreed to see Paris in a new way.  As the English novelist, Lawrence Durrell said, one must “travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, sit quietly and observe and smell and listen for the spirit of the place which is the most important determinant in culture…one should tune in, idly, but with real inward attention”. Therefore, in the style of Hemingway’s vignettes  (1922 Paris), we have shared our reflections and “quiet, inward” observations of this enigmatic city.]