A Poetic Street Sign Encounter in the City of Light

Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 4:00 pm

A Poetic Street Sign Encounter in the City of Light

Avenue Sully-Prudhomme
Last week, I spent two days exploring the glorious streets of Paris in the emerging bloom of spring. As I wound my way through the city’s arrondissements toward the Eiffel Tower, I serendipitously stumbled upon this street sign honoring the French poet Sully Prudhomme.
I’d never even heard of the Nobel laureate until reading Xavier Le Pichon’s essay “Ecce Homo.” In it, Le Pichon shares Prudhomme’s poem Le Vase Brisé (“The Broken Vase”), which his mother taught him, and relates the poem to his mother’s struggles with Alzheimer’s disease.
We commissioned Jean Luc Garneau to recite Prudhomme’s poem, both in English and French. I highly recommend listening.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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