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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

When Emmanuel Macron responded to a British girl’s verse with a poem of his own

French President Emmanuel Macron charmed a British teenager with poetry in response to her verse on Eiffel Tower.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2017 14:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The French Embassy in UK tweeted this image of Sophie and President Macron’s poems.
The French Embassy in UK tweeted this image of Sophie and President Macron’s poems. (Picture courtesy: French embassy in UK/Twitter )

A poem for a poem.

French President Emmanuel Macron responded in verse to Sophie, a British teenager who had written a poem on the Eiffel Tower during a family trip to France in April.

The French Embassy in UK tweeted on Wednesday that Macron wrote the poem for the British school girl on her 13th birthday. It imagines a conversation between the Eiffel Tower and the girl, opening with: “On a trip to Paris one day, little Sophie met a great lady lighting up the night sky.”

Sophie, impressed by the iconic tower had sent her poem superimposed on a hand-drawn sketch to the French presidential palace Elysee. Describing one of the most popular tourist sites across the world, she wrote in Centre of Attention that the Eiffel Tower was “elegant and tall” and “pretty as a picture”, second to none.

According to BBC, Macron’s poem was in French but it was translated by the embassy in London, explaining why the English verse was less lyrical than the original.

Sophie’s poem:

Centre of Attention

She has four beautiful legs,

Which help her stand proud,

She looks over everyone,

With her heads in the clouds,

She is elegant and tall,

Wears a pretty, lacy skirt,

Whilst staring at her in awe,

Your eyes will not avert,

Her spine is amazingly straight,

Whilst her head touches the sky,

People look up and take pictures of her,

As they are passing on by,

You need to tilt your head up,

To be able to see all of her,

But when you do,

She is as pretty as a picture,

She is the centre of attention,

Noticed by everyone,

She is the Eiffel Tower,

She is second to none

When he’s not a poet, the French President is an amateur pianist who was described by French newspaper Le Monde as the ‘Mozart of the Elysée’ when Macron was the economy minister in 2014, NPR reported. Wolfgang Mozart was an Austrian composer and pianist whose work through his lifetime had a profound impact on classical music.

The new 'lighthouse' beams at the top of the Eiffel Tower that lights up the night sky.
The new 'lighthouse' beams at the top of the Eiffel Tower that lights up the night sky. ( AFP Photo )

Macron’s poem:

On a trip to Paris one day, little Sophie

Met a giant lady lighting up the night sky.

“What’s your name, you magical monster?”

“My many visitors call me the Eiffel Tower.”

“In all your attire, don’t you sometime tire

Of being seen only as a humdrum tower?

You, a dragon, a fairy watching over Paris,

An Olympic torch held aloft in grey skies?”

“How you flatter me! So few poets these days

Ever sing the praises of my Parisian soul,

As did Cocteau, Aragon, Cendrars,

Trenet and Apollinaire…Since you’re so good

At seeing beneath the surface, you could-

If you like, when you’re back from France-

Take up your pen and write down

Why you like me-it would be nice and fun!”

“You can count on me! There’s so much to say!

I’ll write twenty lines…but who will read them?”

“Well, I know a man who’ll read your verse.”

“Really? Who?”

“The President of France.”