Trapped: Poetry and Stanza Essay

Submitted By JoshuaJimenez1
Words: 819
Pages: 4

Although Paris is often thought of as the city of love, James Fenton opens his poem “In Paris With You” with the sentence “Don't talk to me of love.” He appears to be getting over a broken relationship, saying “I've had an earful / And I get tearful.” Rather than both words of the rhyming pair coming at the end of lines, “tearful” is in the middle of the second line. The rhymes actually seem to give a lighter atmosphere to the first stanza, although Fenton is feeling down. He describes himself as “one of your talking wounded,” which of course is a play on the phrase “walking wounded” used to describe people who have only slight injuries. He refers to himself as “a hostage” and says he is “marooned,” creating the impression of someone who is not yet free from the emotions of his recent relationship. In the last line of the stanza, however, Fenton seems to be feeling more optimistic when he says, “But I'm in Paris with you.” Throughout the poem, Fenton talks directly to the person he has apparently just met.

In the second stanza Fenton makes it quite clear that he is “on the rebound.” He uses alliteration in the phrase “I've been bamboozled;” bamboozled is a wonderful sounding word, but Fenton is angry at the way he has been treated and refers to his previous relationship as a “mess.” Once again the tone towards the end of the stanza becomes more upbeat since he has met someone new and they are together in Paris.
Fenton is not in the least bit interested in sightseeing, and is in fact openly scornful of Paris' famous attractions in the third stanza. He doesn't want to go to the Louvre or the Champs Elysées, and even goes so far as to use the vulgar alliterative phrase “sod off to sodding Notre Dame.” He uses enjambment to link the end of the third stanza to the beginning of the fourth, commenting that he would rather stay in the “sleazy” hotel room than go to see the sights. No matter how dismal the room is, and the contrast between it and the beautiful attractions of Paris, he wants to spend time there with the person he has met. “Doing this and that / To what and whom” presumably refers to having sex. Fenton closes the fourth stanza with the idea that he will learn more about his companion as well as about himself.

talk to me of love.” Fenton presumably was in love previously but doesn't want to get emotionally involved in his new relationship. He wants to talk about Paris “in our view,” but what they can actually see is a crack in the ceiling and paint peeling off the walls of the hotel room. This is the reality, and Fenton doesn't appear to be bothered by it as he closes the stanza once again with the line “And I'm in Paris with you.”

The sixth and final stanza opens with a repeat of the first line of the fifth stanza, “Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris.” In the next three lines Fenton uses the