Paris : PhotoPoem # 4 : “Music at Shakespeare & Company”

Slumming in Paris Part One, Arthur & GricindaParis PhotoPoems Series, #4 “Music at Shakespeare & Company”

Pictured Left : Slumming in Paris Part One, Arthur & Gricinda

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


Paris : PhotoPoem # 4 : “Music at Shakespeare & Company”


Shakespeare and Company Store Front
Shakespeare and Company Store Front, Paris France


“Music Inside the Books”


a second generation

literary bastion

quartered in an ancient gallic city

across time’s enduring symbol

notre dame

prayed the flowing seine


piano-classic played

stroked by a passers-bye-public

keys touched, kissed

like flowers bent down to the dew

pulling strings, sounds, of wonderment

conversing replies to any country’s words

joining forgotten inner movements

flipped like pages soft as the air

in the fertile arts of paris

© 2012 felipe adan lerma


Sculpture Fronting Shakespeare and Company
Sculpture Fronting Shakespeare and Company, Paris France




today’s photopoem is linked to dversepoets’ prompt from Victoria Slotto‘s fine post, Meeting the Bar: Literary Allusion

“A literary allusion in poetry is, simply put, a reference to another literary work. This can encompass sources such as mythology, the Bible, performance art, a novel, or, of course, another poem. Think of it as a sort of hypertext, linking the reader to another piece of literature, art, or any form of creative expression. Examples of literary allusion also include ekphrasis and response poetry. You are no doubt familiar with ekphrasis, when a work of visual art serves as the inspiration for a poem. A response poem is written, as it implies, in response to another poet, a sort of answering-back.”

she offers excellent examples, including from robert frost, images, and several other interesting pieces


Shakespeare and Company

though not an exact fit, my own poem is a response in a row of literary artistic impulses, and when doesn’t that happen? 😉

coming across and entering the history filled rooms of shakespeare and company, created by sylvia beach, and continued by george whitman (after WWII in 1951, after sylvia chose to close her store than to sell a final copy “finnegan’s wake” to the nazis), the stacks and rows of cleanly lined books, whisper-searched by visitors in english and french, rushed like an opening of time’s secrets into sheila and myself

the cloth book-bags (or for otherwise) for sale sport a great saying

“Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers, Lest They Be Angels in Disguise”

paris, unlike most american cities, still abounds with small sprawling physical bookstores, visible on almost every few blocks, and often filled with browsers

small wood ladders lean against the book-lined walls for reaching upper shelves, and a winding narrow staircase leads to an upstairs filled with more books, old chairs, a room with a window view of notre dame, and even a nook plastered with notes about children’s books

and as we rose into the second level, music soft as the air surrounding the seine shifted and mixed our literary expectations deeper into the arts

a young man, face away from us, intent on his sheet music, moved his body into the intonations his fingers found along an old piano’s keys

i sat on a bench behind him, opened my iphone to my notes app, and let myself respond the waves of sound dancing with the words also preserved on pages

though the oral tradition had a power to move our ancestors, and still does of course to today, without the placement of symbols of those spoken words and heard sounds, onto paper, or even digital form, sharing our past(s) into our present, to create our futures, would be much less rich

the existence, and continuance, of all our artistic traditions is my favored road –

and paris, like yoga with the body and mind, does a fantastic job of this,  😉



Paris PhotoPoem Posts

Paris : PhotoPoem # 1 : “Paris, a View from Starbucks”

Paris : PhotoPoem # 2 : “At the Quai of Notre Dame”

Paris : PhotoPoem # 3 : “Big Treats on Little Streets”

Paris : PhotoPoem # 4 : “Music at Shakespeare & Company”

Paris : PhotoPoem # 5 : “The Tuileries” With Photo-Essay

Paris : PhotoPoem # 6 : “Monet & Renoir at the Orangerie, Paris”

Paris : PhotoPoem # 7 : “Luxembourg Gardens” With Photo-Essay

Paris : PhotoPoem # 8 : “Au Revoir Paris, Hellooo Paris in Memories”

PhotoPoem: “Passages in Moments”


Adan Lermablessings everyone 😉

namaste´- con dios – god be with you




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  1. Reblogged this on Felipe Adan Lerma and commented:

    This is a special reblog of a post I wrote in Paris over six years ago. I noticed it as a Suggested Related Previous Post of mine at the end of my recent blog post, “About the Images in My Books, Part 2 – Narrative / Illustrative Photography and Art”.

    After correcting/deleting a few bad links & no longer available info, I decided this post, “ – was indeed a great match for my current post 🙂 It’s got poetry and pictures, written & shot, during mine and my wife’s great 5 1/2 week stay in Paris for most of the holidays back in 2012 (smiles).

    Also related of course is Part 1 of my current posts, “Images in my Books, Book Covers” – .


  2. Both photography and words capture the special charm of this beautiful City that is a character in its own right. I love the culture, the arts, the diversity and its intensity. You capture them all in this. I wish I could be there right now. Enjoy your time there, Filipe.


  3. beautiful brother…i love second hand books shops and you give this one quite hte ambience with the piano play going on in the back ground…i love the smell of them you know….i could get lost in one for days…so i wear a rope so my wife can pull me out….grins…joining forgotten inner movements…like that….


    • thanks brian,

      i can see your wife (trying) to haul you out via a well tied thickly knotted rope, ha! 😉

      if / when ya’ll come here, you’ll absolutely love this place, i barely did it justice; they also have open mike nights, author talks, and even musical events (one coming up for thanksgiving) all for free!


    • thanks so much fabio, i appreciate it! – the air is soft soft soft here, though, when cold, it still bites 😉

      i’d had inside images, but the store asks that customers’ privacy be respected, quite understandable, thanks again 😉


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