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Monday, August 19, 2013

365 Poems: Feast

Day 231




Mon Dieu! In an act of terrible neglect, I realized tonight I've forgotten to reread 'A Moveable Feast' before I go to Paris. But I did decide something.

When I'm there, I'm not going to worry about what we're seeing or not seeing, or doing or not doing. I'm not going to lament if I don't see everything -- or even one thing -- in the Louvre, or if I don't tour Notre Dame, or see Jim Morrison's grave. I'm going to sit an a cafe for a bit, and think, and try to write my own one true sentence.

“You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”

“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”

"It was a pleasant café, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write. I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story. I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another. That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things."

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”

― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


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