Many words have been written about the French capital but these poems about Paris are the absolute best! They invoke all kinds of feelings from love to despair!
Having covered the best songs about Paris, I thought would also write about the best poems about Paris to truly show you how the city has impacted many artists.
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This enchanting City of Lights (also the City of Love) invokes myriad feelings in artists and commoners alike.
Many are still wondering what it is about this city, among all other cities, that draws people to it. But for now, enjoy the different perspectives of Paris that each poem depicts.
And don’t forget to read the fun facts I’ve included in some of them.
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10 Best Poems on Paris
This poem collection has a mix of humorous, serious, idealistic, melancholic, and romantic poems on Paris.
It was not easy picking the 10 best ones that describe Paris or ones based on events in Paris, but I hope this article does justice to it and that you like the varied emotions that each one brings to the fore.
1. Place De La Bastille, Paris by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
In this sonnet, Dante Gabriel Rosetti takes us back to Paris’ troubled past. He writes about the place where the ancient fortress, Bastille prison, once stood and the emotions surrounding that time.
On July 14, 1789, revolutionaries stormed the Bastille and freed its prisoners, thus the beginning of the French revolution. Paris was in flames and bloodied but eventually free.
Today, Place De La Bastille has a large roundabout with a tall column and the Génie de la Liberté (Spirit of Freedom) on top of it to commemorate the events as poetically described by Dante!
2. Paris in Spring by Sara Teasdale
Paris in Spring is a part of Sara Teasdale’s Helen of Troy & other Poems collection, released in 1911.
Sara describes the beauty of the City of Love during springtime and how the attractions within it blossom.
The poem, though considered one of the most famous poems of Paris is quite contradictory to how the American poet was in real life; a lonely and depressed soul who committed suicide in 1933.
Fun fact: Her Love Songs collection was published in 1917, and won the Columbia Poetry Prize (later renamed to Pulitzer Prize) in the following year.
Related post: Where to see cherry blossoms in Paris
3. Parisian Dream by Charles Baudelaire
Another famous poem on Paris, Parisian Dream is a juxtaposition of Charles’ two worlds; the Paris that he has seen growing up and the destruction that it was going through at the time.
He compares the ideal, an imagined state of happiness, with despair and the current state of affairs.
Charles, a 19th-century poet, was considered one of the greatest French poets. Most of his poems were inspired by his birthplace, Paris, and by fellow poet, Edgar Allen Poe.
Baudelaire’s life changed after his father passed away in 1827 and his mother’s remarriage soon after. His poems reflect his tumultuous and unhappy life.
4. Le Pont Mirabeau by Guillaume Apollinaire
Published in 1912, Le Pont Mirabeau is a popular poem about Paris and is considered one of Guillaume’s best works.
This melancholic poem is based on the ornate bridge across the river Seine and uses these two as a metaphor to explore the concept of lost love and the passage of time.
Legend has it that the poem was inspired by the falling through of the author’s relationship with a female painter.
Apollinaire’s poem is based on the Mirabeau bridge, in particular, instead of the older bridges of Paris, because he had to cross this one to go see his former love.
5. Paris by Alan Seeger
Alan Seeger wrote Paris as a tribute to the city whose Latin Quarter he called home for only a short period before his untimely death.
The poem is a lengthy one, split into 3 sections, and describes an idealistic time in Paris.
He was fascinated by the city and felt that it met his standards of beauty, unlike the previous places he lived in. He fell in love with not only the city of Paris but possibly a person he met there, too.
Fun fact: His most famous poem is I Have a Rendezvous with Death which made people believe he had a premonition about his death.
6. Paris bloqué by Victor Hugo
Paris bloqué translated as Paris blocked is one of Paris poems based on war. It was written by Victor-Marie Hugo, a famous French writer, poet, and novelist, and was published in 1872 in a series of poems called L’Année terrible (The Terrible Year).
The subject of the entire collection is the Franco-Prussian War, with this poem, in particular, being based on the siege of Paris by the German troops.
But it also expresses his personal tragedy, the deaths of his son and his wife, post the end of the siege.
He describes the events that transpired during the siege and dedicated the poem to the people of Paris. You can also check out famous poems by Hugo.
7. Zone by Guillaume Apollinaire
Zone was written in 1913 by Guillaume Apollinaire and is based on modern-day Paris. It is a lengthy one, like #5 Paris, with 150+ lines, and was considered ahead of its time.
The poet describes the industrial age in it and his despair at how things are turning out to be. In a few stanzas, he also reminisces how life was before when he was younger.
It is a confusing poem wherein the poet speaks of a journey he is on within Paris and the sights he sees while on it.
At the end of it, he is uncertain of his feelings, much like the reader. Some say the poem reflects his personal crises.
8. Chanson de la Seine by Jacques Prévert
Jacques Prévert was a famous poet and screenplay writer whose poetry got so popular that they are even taught in French schools.
Most of his poems are about life in Paris, with this particular one written as an ode to the Seine, the main river of France that flows through Paris.
The Seine has been an object of interest for many, including authors, painters, composers, photographers, and filmmakers.
In Chanson de la Seine, Jacques personifies the Seine, breathing life into it and describing how it moves and flows and how life revolved around it.
9. In Paris with You by James Fenton
James Fenton had just gone through a breakup and, admittingly, was on the rebound when he wrote In Paris with You.
His poem is quite contrary to the romantic setting we all associate with Paris. He laments about how he does not want to be in love or talk about love at the moment and insists on only talking about Paris.
Instead of going to see Parisian attractions, he wants to go to the hotel room with the other person, possibly his new lover, and wants them to enjoy the fact that he is in Paris with them.
10. Romance by Robert William Service
Romance is one of those comical Paris poems that makes you chuckle a little. It is based on Robert’s holiday in Paris, particularly his time at the postal station.
He describes the brief romance he encountered amidst his wait and the scurry of the postal office staff. I will not divulge anymore and let you read the amusing poem for yourself.
It is not a very long poem and consists of 4 paragraphs of 8 lines each, with alternate lines rhyming.
Final Thoughts on the Best Poems About Paris
So many words have been penned down to describe this beautiful and rather complex city that it can be hard to select which ones to write about and which ones to leave but I’ve tried my best to include those that talk about different aspects of the city and I hope you liked this collection of the best poems about Paris.
Did you like one in particular? I’d love to know which one. If I have missed any other interesting ones, let me know in the comments below.
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more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Famous songs about Paris
- Best French songs you’ll enjoy
- French love songs you should listen to
- Interesting facts about the Louvre museum
- Fun facts about Paris
- Cool facts about the French language
- Fun facts about French food
- Interesting jokes about Paris
- Paris captions for Instagram
- Famous quotes on Paris
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