A scarf for bonhomie and nouveau expression
An overcoat in cashmere and wool
Persol sunglasses and a serge suit complete the persona
The French intellectual 
En route to the Sorbonne
Sits sipping espresso in a sidewalk café
Holding de Bouvoir’s The Mandarins
Fingers spread open at the page where Anne is unsure
 
The sun this November morning peeks curiously through grey scudding clouds
Casting a shallow warming lambency across the Seine and its nearby arrondissements and into the café where
Workers begin to arrive 
Order their bagels and croissants some with gusto some farouchely
Create cacophony in debating the latest discovery and the common vicissitudes
Animated faces under berets while Dior hats over Revlon lips promenade les grands boulevards
For envy to fall upon or aspirations be made 

 

He raises an eye at these rituals
Bemused and removed 
With élan he lights a Gitane
The bluish smoke curling into a becoming bluer sky
He composes himself
Ready to play his part in
The modern game

 

Paris 1954

Inspiration for these words came from the video for The Style Council’s Have You Ever Had It (so) Blue and images from the late 50’s and early 60s of Paris fashion, politics and style. The words below are from tweedlandthegentlemansclub.blogspot.com and are used with permission.

Les Deux Magots  is a famous café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, France. It once had a reputation as the rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of the city. It is now a popular tourist destination. Its historical reputation is derived from the patronage of Surrealist artists, intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and young writers, such as Ernest Hemingway. Other patrons included Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, and the American writer Charles Sutherland.

Copyright 2016 John Williams