Imagine having a President take the time to sit down and personally write something just for you. Well, for one lucky girl in the UK, this just happened.
French President Emmanuel Macron (I thought his last name was macaron too, but unfortunately it was too good to be true) wrote a poem for a British schoolgirl and sent it to her for her 13th birthday.
The poem is Macron’s response to a poem the girl, known only as Sophie, wrote about the Eiffel Tower whilst on a family trip in April. Sophie had been so blown away by the Eiffel Tower on her visit that she just had to pen a poem to the monument and send it to the Elysée, the official presidential residence.
The words of her poem were written on top of a drawing of the tower, which she describes as “elegant and tall, second to none, with her head in the clouds”.
I bet she never would’ve expected a response, especially poetry quite like this.
Macron’s poem opens with, “on a trip to Paris one day, little Sophie met a great lady lighting up the night sky,” imagining a conversation between Sophie and the Eiffel tower.
The French Embassy posted a photo of the poems side by side on their Twitter page.
— French Embassy UK (@FranceintheUK) November 1, 2017
Throughout the day there was confusion in the French media as to whether President Macron had written the poem in English, but late Thursday afternoon the French embassy in London confirmed to the BBC that it had in fact been them that had translated the president’s French poem into English.
Hugh Schofield from BBC News in Paris said that “suspicions were aroused because the French version is far more structured and literary in style than the English version. It rhymes and scans, and feels like a genuine piece of simple poetry.
“The English version – while enjoyable in its way – reads like a translation. It is more stilted, and the imagery works less well than in the French.”
But unfortunately, for us to appreciate the original poem in French, we’d need to learn French.
Better go and download an app that can teach me.