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Archive for Sunday, August 30, 2009

Poet’s Showcase: ‘On Listening to “La Marseillaise”’

August 30, 2009

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On a dusky Bastille Day,

Cumulus clouds tinged blood-red,

I walk in the park, where a band takes stage.

I lay down on a blanket, sipping lemonade.

The conductor has no baton, only sweeps

His hands to direct the band and chorus.

He motions to them, and the first familiar notes

To “La Marseillaise” sing out:


“Allons, enfants de la Patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrive!”


The anthem rolls out over the audience,

Stirs, raptures, moves many to tears —


“Marchons, marchons, qu’un sang impur,

areuve nos sillons!”


How a song so touching

Could be so bloody, is beyond me.

— Craig Sweets lives in Lawrence.

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