Wednesday, 26 August 2009


“Man loves company even if it is only that of a small burning candle.” - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Mining the archives of old notebooks, I came across this poem written aeons ago. The memory of its writing is still fresh because it is associated with the piece of music that prompted its creation. It is the instrumental piece whose title is also serving as the title of the poem. It is by Greek singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki who became famous in France in the 1960s. This short guitar piece is a perfect little miniature and encapsulated at the time my feelings, which I hoped to express by writing this poem, vocalising the emotion implicit in the music.

Rue de Fossés Saint-Jacques

My loneliness,
A silver needle in my heart,
A wreath of flames on my head.
My loneliness,
A knot caught in my throat, stifling me,
Poisoned bitter wine,
On my lips killing me
With every sip, repeatedly.

My loneliness,
A guitar ringing out,
(With the G slightly out of tune)
In an empty room.
My loneliness,
A single bed, a white sheet
Like a snow-covered frigid plain.

My loneliness,
A promise that was never kept,
Wasted words only,
Taken like dead leaves by the wind.
My loneliness,
A salty tear and brumy eyes,
Secret sighs in a dark room,
The counting of hours until dawn.

Jacqui BB hosts Poetry Wednesday.


  1. My ex-husband who died last month introduced me to the wonderful music of Georges Moustaki. I've recently found some Moustaki records and CDs as I'm sorting through my ex's belongings. These I will surely keep. Thank you for this simple but lovely guitar video.

  2. jeez you were a good poet even as a lad...
    beautiful imagery (as always). there is something very immediate about this poem. even though your blog tells us it was written a while ago the pain of this loneliness (as expressed in this poem) still feels very imeediate

  3. Beautiful as usual. Having been told in your comment on Creative Journey I scrolled to the bottom and began the video so I could read the poem to its accompaniment. Delightful.

  4. What beautiful music! It's interesting how the result of one creative process can act as the springboard for many more. Your poem is sad but lovely and is complimented by the music so much!

  5. The words speak from your heart. I hope you aren't so lonely now.

  6. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Bekkieann, Moustaki was intorduced to me by my parents when we were living in Greece. We had quite a big collection of French, Italian, Spanish and English records, as well as the standard Greek ones. When we came to Australia, these were left behind in Greece. It has been quite a process to try and recover some of those gems of the 60s. Advantage is they are now on CD.

    Meredith and Kwika, the loneliness is certainly somehting that is not a problem now! However, at the time, it sometimes flet like the end of the world had come...

    Good idea, Jacqui!