The Mayor That Was Me

The Mayor That Was Me



My previous life was an Occitan poet who became the mayor in the village near Narbonne where he had lived all his life.
  A poet and a writer and a socialist . . . just like me!
  I saw his picture hanging up in the local town hall.  He didn't look like me but I maybe his quizzical impression resembled mine?  I studied and studied his face, he looked a nice, kindly sort of person. 


Anyway, I wanted to find out more about him.
  It was some ten years before I got all the information together about him that is now in "The Mayor That Was Me."  

  I found some copies in libraries of magazines that he had written in but there was very little about him on Internet;  he was not even mentioned on Wikipedia because nobody had written an article about him.

  I would like him to be more remembered; by now I was thinking of him as somebody I knew.  I felt loyal to him.  I'd read his poetry and found it succinct and moving in the Occitan style.

  The Occitan poetry?  Well, "vers libre" it is not.  The Occitan poets took great pride in crafting their work, every syllable was important.  The sentiments when directly translated often appear baldly-stated and naive, but within the context of the style they were subtle, and said more by what they left out than put in.

  My previous life also composed in the tradition of the troubadours in the time of the Cathars, who composed their love songs to the ladies of the courts.
   Let me give you an example.  It's called "Little Song."
A songthrush in the trees
sang to the night like a Cathedral organ.
What is it that saddens my soul?
It's you, for you don't give me your song!
The rose opens its bud
to the butterfly which embraces it,
what is that can make my heart amorous 
if you give me not your kiss?


The sun all day long
pours out his gold in abundance
and what makes me all the gold in the world
if you don't give me your love?

And at the risk of seeming conceited, here's one of my own poems for comparison.  I was nineteen when I wrote it.  It's just called "Poem."

A fallen petal floated
on the still surface of a pool,
pink, on blue water.

I looked to the sky
The clouds blurred through my tears.
In Heaven the Gods sighed.

The breeze ruffled the pool
and the petal danced,


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