Culture Magazine

Paris Halloween

By Sedulia @Sedulia

Ben prepares for Halloween

The  bust of Benjamin Franklin is by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon, who knew Franklin, but apparently Franklin did not actually sit for the portrait.  This copy of Franklin and one of Washington were my birthday presents a while ago.

Did you know that you can special-order many, many sculptures like this one from the Louvre? They're high-quality and almost unique, if you order from their catalog rather than just buy in the store. The catalog has literally thousands of pieces that can be copied, but in typical French fashion, you have to go into the store at the Louvre to consult it in person. Of course, you can also buy quite a lot on line. Happy Halloween! When my children were small, they had to memorize a poem a week in their French school, a practice I wish American schools would bring back. Here's one I ended up memorizing myself, after hearing it so many times at this time of year. Advice given by a witch Keep yourself from laughing early in the morning! Don't listen to the trees who are guarding the path! Don't say your name to the sleepy earth until after the stroke of midnight! To the snow, to the rain, don't reach out your hand! Don't open your window except for the small planets that you know well! A secret for a secret: you who come to seek counsel, be careful, be careful!
You don't know what could happen!  --Jean Tardieu (1903-1995)

Conseils donnés par une sorcière   
Retenez-vous de rire
dans le petit matin !
N'écoutez pas les arbres
qui gardent le chemin !
Ne dites votre nom
à la terre endormie
qu'après minuit sonné !
A la neige, à la pluie
ne tendez pas la main !
N'ouvrez votre fenêtre
qu'aux petites planètes
que vous connaissez bien !
Confidence pour confidence :
vous qui venez me consulter,
méfiance, méfiance !
On ne sait pas ce qui peut arriver.

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