Letter From Paris In September

from Margo Berdeshevsky

Paris, autumn 2010:

King Lear: O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars

Are in the poorest thing superfluous.

Allow not nature more than nature needs,

Man’s life is cheap as beast’s. Thou art a lady:

If only to go warm were gorgeous,

Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st

Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need-

You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!

You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,

As full of grief as age; wretched in both.

If it be you that stirs these daughters’ hearts

Against their father, fool me not so much

To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,

And let not women’s weapons, water drops,

Stain my man’s cheeks! No, you unnatural hags!

I will have such revenges on you both

That all the world shall- I will do such things-

What they are yet, I know not; but they shall be

The terrors of the earth! You think I’ll weep.

No, I’ll not weep.

I have full cause of weeping, but this heart

Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws

Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!

by William Shakespeare, King Lear, act II sc iv

~

ON SEPTEMBER  4, 2010, all across France, there were  “anti-xenophobia” demonstrations, and the streets filled with the sounds of accordions and chanting, and signs quoting Victor Hugo‘s poetry, saying “Hatred is the Winter of the Heart.” La Haine, C’est L’Hiver du Coeur. Theatre in the streets? No. But I will dare to even call it the dark side, the shadow side, in a Jungian sense, of poetry. (Gypsies, known as “Rom” people, the travelers, the tinkers, the story tellers and poets, for so many centuries, were being ousted by France this summer. They are Europeans, but the present right wing French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had engineered planeloads to send them back to wherever they might have come from. Bulgaria and Romania were prime destinations. The sans papiers, no papers, no work, stood beside them. And 100 thousand French took to the streets to protest it all. … And so,  may we all lose a little of our separateness… and dance with the gypsies.

“ANTI-XENOPHOBIA” DEMONSTRATION WAS HELD ALL ACROSS FRANCE, ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2010

(This series was made in Paris, by Margo Berdeshevsky, all photos © by margo berdeshevsky/9/2010)

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

~

p.s.

Just a few years ago I had the opportunity to visit and photograph throughout the Tsigane camps in east Slovakia, accompanied by a Franciscan monk and a Slovak priest. The living conditions were dire, yet they shared the last dregs of coffee and anything and everything they had with us as strangers, and I learned to roundly question the blanket prejudices against such persons across Europe… Below are just a few of the photographs from that journey:

(Tsigane camps, in eastern Slovakia)

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Photo Copyright 2010 by Margo Berdeshevsky

Margo Berdeshevsky :

http://www.redroom.com/author/margo-berdeshevsky

http://margoberdeshevsky.blogspot.com/

“Beautiful Soon Enough”(Fiction Collective Two /2009)

http://fc2.org/authors/berdeshevsky/berdeshevsky.htm

Amazon Author page: http://tinyurl.com/ygft9wu

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One comment

  1. The words of this poet speak well. Her images, volatile, yet somehow soothing, as if they are saying: “Yes we witness, we see, we grasp at understanding and maybe we are humbled enough to care. As for loving and sharing… in this age of ignorance, I wonder.
    Ibu Robin Lim, Bali, Indonesia

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