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QUEBEC!: Le Canada Français and Une Cathédrale Canadienne Pendant L'Hiver (poems)

Updated on June 1, 2017
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Richard F. Fleck is author of several books of poetry but one of his favorite forms is Asian haiku which he uses to capture spirit of place.

Quebec City in Winter
Quebec City in Winter

Le Canada Français (A Poem)

I once was a student

of French in Canada

where I roamed the

streets of Quebec not

armed with an umbrella,

as Thoreau once wrote,

but with a warm hooded coat

protecting me from frosty air

high above the Saint Lawrence

flowing seaward with chunks of ice

that ground the stony shoreline

of lower Quebec where I caught

the ferry boat across to Levis and

chatted in very daring French with

the local frost-bitten passengers who

remarked "voila un americain qui

parle Français!" and who asked me

if I did not think that Canada, with its

forests and mountains, is "bien beau."

And on that ferry boat I could not help

but fall in love with all these people.

Une Cathédrale Canadienne Pendant L'Hiver

C'est comme une apparition celeste,

cette cathédrale bleauâtre et calme,

pleine de paix, pleine d'amour--

c'est tous ce qu'on peut en avoir

sur cette terre qui est

autrement couverte de neige

et frappee par les vents.

translated as:

A Canadian Cathedral During Winter

It's like a celestial apparition

this bluish and calm cathedral,

full of peace, full of love--

it's all one could want

on this earth which is

otherwise covered with snow

and beaten by winds.

I spent many weeks in French Canada between 1956 and 1959 learning as much as I could about French Canadians and the French language. For those interested in reading other poems and essays of mine written in French see La France, 31 (Printemps, 1986), 116-117, 131-132.My online book Canada and Beyond contains the poem Vieux Montreal.

© 2012 Richard Francis Fleck


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    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 7 months ago from Denver, Colorado

      Fellow Hubbers, I added a poem in French (with translation) about French Canada of my youth.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you Valleypoet--I'll look forward to reading your work.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      A very well written narrative poem...enjoyed this:-))

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thanks jojo29, I appreciate it.

    • jojo29 profile image

      Jane Boucheirre 5 years ago from CA

      wow---loved how it rhymes. :-)