James Fenton

Image by Caroline Forbes

In Paris with You

Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two.
I'm one of your talking wounded.
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded.
But I'm in Paris with you.

Yes I'm angry at the way I've been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess that I've been through.
I admit I'm on the rebound
And I don't care where are we bound.
I'm in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre,
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysees
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that,
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There's that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I'm in Paris with you.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris.
I'm in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I'm in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I'm in Paris with...all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I'm in Paris with you.

From New Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006), copyright © James Fenton 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.


James Fenton

James Fenton Reading From His Poems

1For Andrew Wood


3Out of the East

4Children in Exile

5Blood and Lead


7The Milkfish Gatherers

8The Ballad of the Shrieking Man

9Cut-Throat Christ

10The Mistake

11Out of Danger

12The Skip

13In Paris with You

14I'll Explain

15The Possibility


17Here Come the Drum Majorettes!

18Yellow Tulips