La Ville Lumière—City of Lights, of Dreams,
__Of Love: La Ville d’Amour. Whose night is day—
__Whose stars are mirrored in the sky which streams
__Them back again—La Seine: the Milky Way.
La Tour Eiffel, la Louvre, et Notre-Dame,
__A strand of diamonds strung along the quai
__Like Left Bank lovers hand in hand on prom-
__enade beside the Ile de la Cité.
Maison de Gioconda, Claude Monet,
__Dumas et Victor Hugo, Baudelaire,
__Et l’Opéra, Bizet et Massenet,
__Couture, Le Métro, et cafés plein aire.
C’est magnifique, tres chic, La Ville Romance,
Et par bon chance, la capitale de France.



James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.

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6 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I can hear the playful lilt of an accordion, taste the vin rouge and feel the romance under the winking stars, such is the power of this delightful sonnet. I love the French finesse of the closing couplet, the cheeky hyphen in “prom-enade”, and the wonderful poetic tour. C’est magnifique, Monsieur Tweedie!

    • Peter Hartley

      V good summing up of everything that Paris stands for except that you didn’t mention the Tour Montparnasse, which is the best place I’ve seen to make a good splat on the pavement from a considerable height. There’s a man in a little booth on the roof on permanent suicide watch and for a small fee he will take loads of photos of you on your way down, but he will only use your camera and he insists on being paid up front. He also gives out little medals to people who survive. Well, he hasn’t had to yet. I like the way it hangs together as a regular sonnet despite its having been half of it wrote in foreign. C’est Braine then magnifique. Bloody spell-chequers and predictive text. I typed “vraiment” not Braine then.

  2. Julian D. Woodruff

    Bon jour, eclat de soleil. Or,
    as Weber said of the overture to Cherubini’s Anacreon (but in German), la vie de Champagne!

  3. C.B. Anderson


    Never been there, don’t expect to go there, but I like what I hear about the place, especially from you.

  4. Sultana Raza

    To James Tweedie, I’d reacted to this poem in French, but that comment seems to have disappeared. I’ve been having problems with comments recently, and so have a few other people. Perhaps it’s a technical glitch. In any case, this lovely poem reminds me of Paris, and all the sites mentioned herein. It’s not easy to rhyme English with another language, but you’ve succeeded admirably well. Though my French is not very good, may I suggest that instead of ‘La Ville Romance,’ it might have been better to say ‘La ville romantique,’ or ‘la ville de la romance?’ That’s mainly because, the word Romance alone conjures up the idea of Romania (or even gypsies). For example, the Romance languages etc. But this is a small point in a poem that’s a very brave take on marrying two languages in one, complete with rhyme and metre.

    • James A. Tweedie


      Thank you for your encouraging comment. Even with four years of French and four visits to the country, I am not fluent in French (although one of my three daughters is). I do, however, know enough to affirm your suggestion regarding the word “Romance.” I should have caught it myself! As for the capital letters, they were intentional, insofar as I was considering the phrases to be formal titles rather than merely descriptive–an affectation that doesn’t really affect the poem, one way or the other.

      Thank you for taking the time to resubmit your comment.


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