President Macron writes poem for British girl
Birthday surprise for Sophie as president replies to her poem about the Eiffel Tower
A young British girl has received a surprise 13th birthday present from President Macron – a poem he wrote for her.
Mr Macron was replying to a letter Sophie sent to the Elysée in April with a poem celebrating a visit to Paris and her first sight of the Eiffel Tower.
The French Embassy in London made a video of her poem and showed Mr Macron’s poem in both English and French.
The president is known to love poetry and his signed reply to mark her 13th birthday makes the point that he did read and enjoy her poem.
It was initially assumed that Mr Macron had written the English-language version of the poem, however the French embassy later clarified that he wrote it in French and they translated it.
Here is the text of Mr Macron’s poetic reply, in English and French:
On a trip to Paris one day, little Sophie
Met a giant lady lighting up the night sky
"What's your name, you magical monster?"
"My many visitors call me the Eiffel Tower."
"In all your attire, don't you sometimes tire
Of being seen only as a humdrum tower?
You, a dragon, a fairy watching over Paris,
An Olympic torch held aloft in grey skies?"
"How you flatter me! So few poets these days
Ever sing the praises of my Parisian soul,
As did Cocteau, Aragon, Cendrars,
Trénet and Apollinaire... Since you're so good
At seeing beneath the surface, you could
-If you like, when you're back from France-
Take up your pen and write down
Why you like me -it would be nice and fun!"
"You can count on me! There's so much to say!
I'll write twenty lines... but who will read them?"
"Well, I know a man who'll read your verse."
"The President of France"
En voyage à Paris, la petite Sophie
Croisa une géante illuminant la nuit.
"Comment t'appelles-tu, monstre surnaturel ?"
"Mes nombreux visiteurs m'appellent Tour Eiffel"
"N'es-tu pas parfois lasse, avec tes mille atours
Que l'on ne voie en toi qu'une banale tour ?
Toi le dragon, la fée, qui veille sur Paris,
Toi, immense flambeau planté dans le ciel gris !"
"Quel plaisir tu me fais ! Ils sont devenus rares
Ceux qui comme Cocteau, Aragon ou Cendrars,
Trenet, Apollinaire, avaient su célébrer
Mon âme parisienne aux charmes singuliers.
Puisque tu sais si bien percer les apparences,
Tu pourrais, si tu veux, à ton retour de France,
Prendre à ton tour la plume et conter en anglais
(It would be nice and fun) ce qui chez moi te plaît !"
"Tu peux compter sur moi ! Il y a tant à dire !
Je t'écrirai vingt vers... Mais qui voudra les lire ?"
"Oh, moi j'en connais un qui lira ton cantique."
"Monsieur le président de la République"