Arts & Poetry, International

Twenty three, Giverny

What can Mademoiselle Hoschede see

As she looks down from the balcony

Of number twenty-three, Giverny?


Market traders passing along, one sings The Farmer’s Song.

Another lifts his hat towards the petite Mademoiselle Picardy before

engaging in a brief chat with the kindly Madame Baudy.

It’s today’s activity that takes place along the way from the black metal gates

Of number twenty-three, Giverny.

The sweet smell of lilac sweeps down the hill

Following on behind the street vendors…there is Mademoiselle Amelie

And her young friend Monsieur Lacoste, the watchmaker…. ah, a moment in time.

Gentlemen walk down the hill to La Maison de Madame Baudy

to converse with fellow painters.

Young men in brilliant tennis whites play  

On the immaculate l’herbe verte overlooked by the hotel.

Young women of the village, sit at a table, sipping Pernod


Set back from the sleepy roadside

A majestic hen struts its way past a street vendor

And a painter

His palette awash with gleaming colours, awaits his moment.

Les nuages noirs shroud the village, taking away the sun, creating a view that only you,

Monsieur Monet

Could recreate for another, far-away day.

Monet’s friends talk loudly as they pass by number twenty three, Giverny.

Confident, alert, as if these painters know that they are players in their own immortalisation.

Their creation, their inspiration, is infectious and Claude invites them to join him at the table overlooking the tennis court.

Vin rouge…

It begins to rain and so they walk briskly up the hill to the Master’s house for more conversation.

Walking speedily past the corner where stands Mademoiselle Hosched’s house

At number twenty three, Giverny.

As they reach Claude’s front door, there is heavier rain

Claude invites them in for champagne from the Chasselas grape.

Meanwhile, Mademoiselle Hosched reflects on life

From the balcony of

Number twenty three, Giverny.

She ponders her place in the era of elevated enlightenment,

For today, they are her neighbours;

Tomorrow…posthumous héros de l’art.


A new day, a new morning, the sky is creation blue,

Dimanche est arrivée…

The bells of Église Sainte-Radegonde – where one day the Monet family will take their final rest – strike through the morning to remind them of the Creator.

The church bell speaks out its toll.

The world mutters along.

While in the quiet moments, and behind the closed shutters

Of number twenty three, Giverny, Mademoiselle Hoschede ponders her life.

Along the pathway and up the steps à l’Église, the faithful sit in their unforgiving pews, acknowledging the One who controls the gentle pace of the seasons, the  events of generations past, and the lure of centuries to come.

The old, rotting rafters of number twenty three Giverny watch its passers-by.

Mademoiselle Hoschede looks out from the balcony of number twenty three, and observes Madame Baudy as she closes her shutters for the Sabbath.

This is Giverny, painting its own future.

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