La Place De La Concorde - Poem by Brian Taylor
La Place de la Concorde
near the Hôtel Crillon.
In the Temps Perdu:
and the tricoteuses
(who never forget)
sit and knit
to welcome Marie Antoinette.
'With my machine, '
Dr Guillotin tells the Assemblée Constituante,
'I cut off your head
in the twinkling of an eye,
and you never feel it! '
In the Here and Now:
a yellow granite obelisk
from the Luxor Temple,
3500 years old,
a present from the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt,
rises 75 feet above the centre of the square.
It, too, lost its cap in the sixth century BC
and has been given a gold-leafed replacement.
Unlike Marie Antoinette.
In 2000, the French 'Spiderman',
no hard hat or safety net
- just climbing shoes and hands quite bare,
scaled the obelisk right to the top
to the astonishment of Harmony Square.
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