Inside An Old Book Of Poems By Mistral


Part of me lingers here,

a garment of loose script

on the fly leaf, an unhemmed draft

of something or nothing.


This book has been stitched

by hand. Its paper stiff;

but your voice ,groomed with a typeface

called Garamond,

sounds like a Bohemian dance

from the South.


Your lines often sing

of an ocean wind, shore birds

and bell towers looming

over vineyards ripe

with black grapes, a maiden’s love

for the basket maker.


Yet , that silence in-between

tells me you are there

listening to stories outside

your valley beyond

the stone fortress

of Saintes-Maries-de-la Mer.


And maybe, you hear mine —

a woman tattered in her own verse

struggling to find insight, gain closer

access to you. Carefully, I thumb


through all these pages,

your breath fanned in the lamplight – emitting

a faint blend of tobacco and dust.


Note — Poet, Frederic Mistral was a 19th C Writer who wrote  about his home and culture in the south of France, mainly Provence.  Romantic and lyrical, his poems often dealt with love and nature drawing his characters and background from the native landscape and people of his town and region.




  1. Wendy,

    Not only does your poem honor Mistral, and by its excellent craftsmanship,
    honors poetry, it also pays homage to the soul of a book. A soul that electronic
    devices can never hope to claim.

    Your fine depiction has me holding the book in my hands and savoring the connection
    between reader and writer, between then and now.

    “your breath fanned in the lamplight ”

    What a joy this poem.
    I feel ever blessed to read poetry such as this.

    Thank you!



  2. Hi Sarah

    There is nothing like an old book with all its bent pages, sewn spine and old fashioned craftsmanship! So glad you enjoyed this poem and deeply appreciate your wonderful insight and response!

    Take care,


    • Wendy, I like that you connected the poet’s voice to a font. Makes me think of how often I searched through fonts, not realizing I was looking for my voice in the shape and texture of letters of the alphabet. Makes me not want to keep accepting Times New Roman. I enjoyed the imagery of clothing and sewing.


  3. Hi Ptc

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this poem! I deeply appreciate your intuitive comments and
    am glad you liked the imagery.

    My Best


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