Dear Painting of the Bertrand Cafe,

I wish I could fade into you,
sipping a foamy latte in a
robin’s egg chair, breathing
in the Paris air and dreaming
of our crooked Cricklewood
days. Miles from there, some
cinnamon breeze would stir
the trees, as they throw their
sweet crimson apples onto
cobblestoned country roads
and gossip endlessly over
bragging doorway signs:
Hemingway Slept Here.
T. S. Eliot Wrote There.
I’d stare off into a melt
-ing horizon, hold lost
words on my warmed
tongue, and maybe
this once,
know myself.



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22 Responses to Dear Painting of the Bertrand Cafe,

  1. whimsygizmo says:

    Prompted by:

    Today’s prompt is an epistolary poem — a poem in the form of a letter. We were specifically challenged to write a poem addressing an inanimate object and to try to include at least 4 of these:
    1) a song lyric
2) a historical fact
3) an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
4) a fruit
5) the name of a street in your neighborhood
6) a measure of distance.

    I got all 6 in. See if you can find ’em. 😉

  2. Ruth says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could magically transport ourselves into that world? The title made me giggle, until I remembered the NaPoWriMo prompt (which for me is still in gestation). Loved the last lines especially (before “Desperately…”), and the natural way in which you included those 6 list items.

  3. Getting to know oneself is a long process, I’m learning. But we can get there!
    Cricklewood, what is Cricklewood? I LOVE it!

    I saw Dylan Thomas’ writing shed!!

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Cricklewood is one street over from us, parallel (see 6 guidelines of prompt above). I liked the way it sounded, and I looked up the word. It happens to be a district of North London. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Jannie.

  4. Mr. Walker says:

    De, this was a marvelous read. I am going to have to try that epistolary poem. To a painting was an inspired choice. “I wish I could fade into you” was such a lovely opening.


  5. This was wonderful even not knowing the prompt!
    What is the song lyric, though? I think I’ve found everything else, and impressed with how you inserted them so seamlessly!

  6. Shawna says:

    This makes me very happy. Do you listen to Mazzy Star? Reminds me of “Fade Into You,” of course.

    “sipping a foamy latte” … Can I have one too? I’ll happily sit across from you in the other chair. And we can read and discuss Eliot together. 🙂 LOVE him.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Yes, please. Let’s go. I’ve got a tattered copy to bring. Sounds heavenly.
      And YES, love Fade Into You. It was my song lyric for the prompt requests for this one. 😉

  7. poetcolette says:

    This gives a feeling of déjà vu
    in that many have probably seen paintings they wished they could fade into–
    or felt that they already had.
    Your words paint this feeling to a T.

  8. I’ll meet you there! I enjoyed this poem and the premise behind it so much.

  9. Kris S. says:

    This was a only an exercise? I can’t wait to read what really moves you.
    This was awesome. I’m with Victoria. We’re just walking into the door. I’m sure we’ll find you poised over your foamy latte. I imagine you look up, squeal with us, and T.S. Elliot in the corner will sneer and return to his dull book.

  10. EJ says:

    This is so beautiful, and it reeled me right in with “fade into you” (love this song so much). Lovely, De!

  11. Johnnie Walker says:

    Where can I find a copy of this painting, the Dear Painting or the Bertrand Cafe’

  12. Nicole Bertrand says:

    I would love to purchase this picture…would you consider selling it….

  13. Reblogged this on Histoires & Condiments and commented:
    Une illustration (rare) et en painting du Café Bertrand original

  14. Shauna says:

    I have what I believe is the original painting. It’s roughly a 40″ x 40″ oil painted canvas. When I found this breathtaking piece of art work, it was rolled up and stashed in an artists basement. I purchased this and another timeless piece of art work, same artist (I think). I had both pieces restored. I’ve been searching high and low for the painter. Does anyone know who the artist may be? I’m taking these to an art appraiser this week. I’m hoping to get some answers. If anyone has any info, please share. Beautiful poem for a beautiful painting. Thanks!

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Thanks so much for the kind comments. Mine is just a print found at HomeGoods, years ago. I don’t know anything at all about the original. I wish you luck!

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