Tuesday, 17 January 2012

In Paris With You, James Fenton

The poet was born in London and in 2007 was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

The subject of the poem is getting over a break up and is in Paris with another woman. He seems dejected and at times bored, noticing cracks 'across the ceiling'. The title acts as a metonym, with the word 'Paris' replacing the word 'love' throughout the poem. The class discussed whether he truly loves the woman he is with and the fact that he feels a victim of love. He doesn't want to venture into the city.

The portmanteaux word 'maroonded' reflects the confusion of emotions. He also feels trapped.

He seems careless 'doing this and that, to what and whom'. There is a sense that he is dealing with his problems and loathes himself; 'learning what I am'.

The poem is made up of a repeating stanza pattern, with a very different third stanza which makes it stand out. The poem is structured in a song like way and uses repetition, and internal rhymes to emphasise the rhythm.

The poem is, at times humorous, containing contrived and unexpected rhyme. He repeats the word Paris, a beautiful city that is reduced to a grotty hotel room.

Good to compare with the anger expressed in Sister Maude and the sense of being hurt in Quickdraw. To His Coy Mistress could be used too.

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