Poem a Day #13 – Sous Les Pavés, La Plage

sous les paves


The slogan comes from the May 1968 civil unrest and general strike in France. I’ve used it to come up with a list poem. It’s Sunday evening, I’m short of ideas and tired after staying up to watch Fulham beat Norwich in the early hours of the morning. But the slogan is a powerful one, and could give rise to a better poem over the next few months.


Sous Les Pavés, La Plage
(under the cobblestones, the beach)

under the carpet, the bare wood

under the linoleum, the fateful headline

under the marble tiles, the sewerage pipes

under the desk, the discarded memo

under the truck, the bicycle

under the din, the lovers’ conversation

under the canopy, the groundcover

under the anger, the panic

under the blind faith, the doubt

under the bluster, the lies

under the politeness, the disgust

under the caress, the indifference

under the hopelessness, the resignation

under the altar, the woodworm

under the promise, the intent

under the trust, the worry

under the skin, the grief

under your feet, the answer


© Mike Hopkins 2014

13 thoughts on “Poem a Day #13 – Sous Les Pavés, La Plage

  1. Agree with ‘middleagedlove’. No need to apologise. Good poem – the repetition works. It’s an interesting technique to create a poem too. I may steal it!

  2. Damn you Tracey K. That was gonna be my joke. Too fast for me.
    I also like it there are plenty of powerful lines/juxtapositions. My only comment, maybe a fraction too long & will have more impact post-edit if it’s a fraction tighter. Since Jennifer has pinched the altar/woodworm, the next most oomphy one for is “under the linoleum, the fateful headline”. Not just the headline, but the fateful one. It’s the fateful what makes it.

  3. This is great, Mike. Really like it. And all the more impressive for having been produced after a late night and an intense afternoon. Relieved to hear that it was FvN that was making you yawn. Football has that effect on me too…

  4. Agree with you – great construction (ie. the slogan’s). So it was a good thought that started you off. But to write this *after we left(!)*…bloody hell!

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