Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reading Hemingway

Patty at Mont Saint-Michel, France
I love this poem because every time I read it I think about my friend Patty, and when we were in graduate school in Paris back in the day.  We were so young and liked to think of ourselves as intellectuals,  and we would walk around Paris looking for Hemingway's cafes, and talking to each other in Hemingway's simple. spare. style. We thought we could be writers too. We liked to drink that cold, dry wine. So cold, so dry.  We thought we were so smart, so cool.

Reading Hemingway, by James Cummins

Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry,
for jambon, cheeses, and a dry white wine.
Cold, of course, very cold. And very dry.
Reading Hemingway makes some folks angry:
the hip drinking, the bitter pantomime.
But reading Hemingway makes me hungry
for the good life, the sun, the fish, the sky:
blue air, white water, dinner on the line . . .
Had it down cold, he did. And dry. Real dry.
But Papa had it all, the brio, the Brie:
clear-eyed, tight-lipped, advancing on a stein . . .
Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry,
I’d knock down Monsieur Stevens, too, if I
drank too much retsina before we dined.
(Too old, that man, and way too cold. And dry
enough to rub one’s famished nerves awry,
kept talking past the kitchen’s closing time!)
Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry . . .
And cold, of course. So cold. And very dry.

1 comment:

  1. If a person had not yet read any Hemingway but had a suspicion they ought to, what might you recommend? :)