Poetic Saint-Germain-des-Pres

These poems are like polaroid pictures depicting my favorite Paris neighborhood, Saint-Germain-des-Pres,” says the young French author Nicholas Grenier describing his new book of Tanka-style poetry titled “Quant à Saint-Germain-des-Pres, trente et un tanka sur la main d’apres.” Grenier’s approach to Tanka poetry both honors Japanese tradition and takes it in some new directions. While employing the classic 31 syllable 5-7-5-7-7 Tanka structure he departs from tradition by using urban images instead of pastoral ones creating colorful impressions of the Left Bank district. “When I am out walking around Paris my feet take me to Saint-Germain-des-Pres,” says  Grenier, “It’s my Paris reference point. I write about things I observe there from the Café de Flore to Monoprix. It’s a new, modern kind of Tanka.”

Loin de l’herbe folle
Au crépuscule doré
Sur la chaussée brute
Entre les automobiles
Mon scooter bleu se faufile

Grenier’s book is available at L’Ecume des Pages (174, boulevard Saint Germain
75006 PARIS) or http://www.revue-tanka-francophone.com/editions/catalogue_editions_tanka.htm