In Paris With You

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  • Created by: Qiao-Chu
  • Created on: 14-04-13 15:54

Background

James Fenton is a modern poet, worked a spolitical journalist, well known for writing war poetry and poems dealing with relationships. Style characterised by word play and use of traditional forms of poetry like ballads, sonnets and lyrics.

Poem recounted by narrator whose relationship has just ended and is now in Paris with someone else. Suggests longterm relationship ended and speaker currently in less serious liaison.

Narrator does not want to examine aftermath of serious relationship and doesn't want to talk things over or even visit galleries or landmarks, just want to enjoy moment rather than think of future or past.

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Structure

Poem has four stanzas of five or six lines, longer stanza of nine lines in the centre, acts as chorus where mood changes. First half deals with lead up to current situation, second half about enjoying present. Repeated line 'I'm in Paris with you' described as refrain. Use of repetition reflects reader's insistent concentration on present.

Regular rhyme scheme in four stanzas adding to musical quality. Rhyme scheme abccb. Stanza in centre uses half rhyme in 'Elysees' and 'sleazy' for comic effect.

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Language

Opens with emphatic negativr 'Don't talk to me of love'. Speaker has had enough and wants to stop thinking abou tlove. Line repeated a couple of times but poem is not negative, one which celebrates intimacy of a relationship.

Poem written in first person and addresses lover. Lines hint at conversation but we only hear one side of dialogue. More intimate, reader feels like eavesdropping.

Repeated use of colloquial languagr suggesting informality and honesty. Phrases make poem seem down to earth. Such language contrasts with falsely poetic tone often found in literature about love, replacing to comic effect.

Word play is other technique for humour, speaker refers to weariness at having to talk about failed relationship as 'I'm one fo your talking wounded', pun on 'walking wounded' used in war context, and rhymed with 'marooded', partly nonsense word used to maintain rhyme scheme. Fun and inventive tone.

Final stanza repeats 'I'm in Paris...' four times offering comical and sensual references to speaker's enthusiasm with other person. 'Am I embarrassing you?' adds sense of exuberance and teasing attitude.

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Attitude, Themes and Ideas

About surfacing from a longterm relationship but not thinking about its aftermath. Enjoying time of closeness without taking responsibility for past or future. 'I'm in Paris with you' is mantra containing key theme of enjoying present.

Rejects traditional concerns of romance, famous sites of romantic city unimportant to reader. Instead focuses on old hotel room. Details unique to narrator's experience of being in Paris with lover, sums up poem's message. Being together more important than typical romantic locations and analytical conversations.

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Comparisons

Born Yesterday - rejects traditional idea.

Hour - relationship blossoming in ordinary settings, focusing on preciousness of present time rather than past or future.

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