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    Last Summer i wanted
    To walk the Via Tolosana
    From Montpellier to Toulouse;
    I was deposited in the
    Herault by a parsimonious
    Eire line one hot
    Morning having wasted
    Two euros on a lottery
    Ticket then picked up
    The pilgrim route picked
    Out by red and white sigils
    And stylised Coquilles St
    Jacques on the walls of
    Barns and wayside bornes;
    Eventually i saw sense and
    Let the SNCF take the strain
    And was whisked across
    The flamingo-rich littoral
    Of Mare Nostrum past
    Beziers and Narbonne
    And inland to graze the
    Tarn before slipping in
    To the Haute Garonne
    And arriving in the Rose
    City at lunchtime;
    Ensconced in my
    Eighth floor eyrie
    On the banks of the
    Canal du Midi i looked
    Upon the scene as the
    Frankish Captain Clovis
    Must have done a thousand
    Years ago; no Merovingian i;
    Impelled by tales of sausage-
    Based gastronomy and student culture
    I sallied forth across the canal
    And let the Rue de la Concorde
    Guide me to the shadow of St
    Saturnin where i broke my fast
    On the eponymous saucisson;
    It was no big deal; a porky tube
    Crusted with salt; i was distinctly
    Underwhelmed; perhaps the crazy
    Student scene would win the day;
    Eheu les etudiants n'etaient pas la
    They had all shoved off en vacances
    Leaving me to guess what antics i was
    Missing during my untimely visit;
    I gravitated to the main square
    Reached by the Rue de Taur
    Where i tasted my first
    Aligote which is a Cevenol
    Dish comprising a sort
    Of chewing gum made of
    Potato and cheese;
    I soon became aware
    Of the large population
    Of Arabs who had their
    Own quarter full of
    Cafes and bakeries
    Selling colourful
    Sweetmeats;
    No doubt these
    Would have been
    Frequented by the
    Young Maghrebien
    Who took up so much
    Of the news this week;
    His training in the arid
    Camps of Waziristan
    Prepared him to shoot
    Little girls from a distance
    Of one centimetre;
    He found it harder to
    Hit policemen surrounding
    His squalid bled;
    Surely these Madrassars
    Are crying out for quality
    Control; Ofsted you could
    Make a huge difference to
    The learning experience of
    Young people in the tribal
    Areas straddling Pakistan
    And Afghanistan;
    Quite honestly the
    Alumni of these schools
    For jihadis do not inspire
    Terror in me but rather
    Disgust and embarrassment
    Why was Mr Friend of Palestine
    Armed with an Uzi submachine gun ?
    Did no one explain to him that Uzis are
    Ermm a Jewish firearm ? Bonjour
    Reveille-toi et renifle le cafe
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    this is really interesting. is the Via Tolosana part of the St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage route? I haven't heard the word "bled" since I was living in the south of france, I like it. Out of curiosity which poets inspire you and why do you choose to use quite short lines? what were you going for in the final line? ironising the british tourist or interpreting a foreign culture in british terms or just emphasising the layering/clashing of cultures?
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    what's a 'squalid bled'?
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    People on TSR will not give you the credit you deserve- no matter what anyone else says, know that you're great at writing poetry
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    (Original post by milesofsea)
    what's a 'squalid bled'?
    in french it means a village, often an isolated and crappy one.

    I just looked it up to check for other meanings, apparently it also means "countryside" in north africa which makes it even more apt than I originally thought. I wonder if it entered the french language with the north african immigrants- I guess it must have...

    PoziHQ- agreed. This is so much more interesting than the kind of stuff that usually gets posted on TSR.
    Thanks for posting it the bear.
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    Thanks so much PoziHQ & a certain; it is great to know you are enjoying my stuff !!
    I like short lines because they are easier
    Although i have tried the sonnet & ballade forms too.
    Yes the Via Tolosana is one of the feeder routes to Compostella... it is less frequented than the route from Paris.
    It was great to walk just a part of it; it is a work in progress which i can resume in future trips.
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    (Original post by a_certain_nobody)
    this is really interesting. is the Via Tolosana part of the St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage route? I haven't heard the word "bled" since I was living in the south of france, I like it. Out of curiosity which poets inspire you and why do you choose to use quite short lines? what were you going for in the final line? ironising the british tourist or interpreting a foreign culture in british terms or just emphasising the layering/clashing of cultures?
    I like the American phrase
    Wake up and smell the coffee;
    Monsieur M is not waking up
    And has had his last coffee...
    Renifler means "sniff" but
    The word renifle is close to rifle
    Continuing the firearms theme.

    I adore Dylan Thomas & Hopkins
    Also Rupert Brooke & Belloc
    Shout out to Shakey of course !!
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    thatnks a certain nobody for the explanation.

    I don't think anyone isn't appreciating his poetry unduly. I asked for a meaning and therefore I was intruiged enough to take an interest in the poem? I think it's good, but the fact that I'm not fluent in French means that the poem is somewhat inaccessible to me, and many people. That's all. A poem that attempts this kind of thing has to be very good to make up for the effort.

    That said, it's refreshing, and I enjoyed it. Also, I love Dylan Thomas!!
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    (Original post by milesofsea)
    thatnks a certain nobody for the explanation.

    I don't think anyone isn't appreciating his poetry unduly. I asked for a meaning and therefore I was intruiged enough to take an interest in the poem? I think it's good, but the fact that I'm not fluent in French means that the poem is somewhat inaccessible to me, and many people. That's all. A poem that attempts this kind of thing has to be very good to make up for the effort.

    That said, it's refreshing, and I enjoyed it. Also, I love Dylan Thomas!!
    Thanks for reading my poem miles o'sea...
    Great to find another DT fan !!
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    Hopkins is a good'un. Strong substance in this one 'bear'!
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    (Original post by Dunc1)
    Hopkins is a good'un. Strong substance in this one 'bear'!
    Thanks Dunc1
    I am happy to write poems about kittens and butterflies but also more controversial subjects

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