A field of provençal poppies for my mom.
acrostiche (akro-steesh) noun, masculine
Here is a French definition, from Le Petit Larousse:
* * *
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Yesterday, Mother's Day here in France, began with a conversation in front of the micro-onde,* where my daughter was heating up a cup of water.
"Do you know what today is?" I asked, positively beaming in a frumpy robe and puffy pantoufles.*
"On est quel jour?"* my ten-year-old asked back.
"I don't know... May 24th or fifth..." I replied impatiently, not one to let details rain on my parental parade. "Just guess. Guess what day it is!"
When my daughter looked confused, I upped my antics: widening not only my eyes but also my smile... and pointing exaggeratedly at my motherly profile. If I could have added flashing lights and honking horns to this miming display of maternity--bells, whistles, and even a foghorn--I would have. As it was, my daughter quickly caught on:
"La Fête des Mères!"* Jackie guessed. With that, she opened the microwave door, collected the cup of hot water, and offered it to me... along with some tea and honey. Next, from the garde-manger,* where she had hidden it, she produced this hand-written acrostic:
* M A M A N *
M -ajestueuse comme une hirondelle
A -ccueillante comme une musique
M -erveilleuse comme une abeille
A -gréable comme du parfum
N -aturelle comme une coccinelle.*
Studying the unbelievable choice of words, I wondered. How children can see such potential in us is, if not sublime, mysterious. I straightened up my posture, smoothed down my fluffy robe, and ran my fingers through a mop of hair. Re-reading my daughter's poem, I was struck by her vision of me. No longer frumpy or honking or absurd, there I stood: in her eyes I was as lovely as a ladybird.
la micro-onde (f) = micro-wave; la pantoufle (f) = slipper; On est quel jour? = What's the date?; la fête (f) des mères = Mother's Day; le garde-manger (m) = pantry
Jackie's acrostiche, translated: Maman (Mommy) : Magnificent like a swallow; Welcoming like music; Marvelous like a bee; Pleasant like perfume; Lovely as a ladybird."
AUDIO FILE: (listen to the word and poem in French)
Download acrostiche.mp3 . Download acrostiche.wav
Tune Up Your French: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French
~~~~~~~~~~French films, fiction, food, and more...~~~~~~~~
My daughter is currently reading (and recommending) Nicholas on Vacation. Children (and adults) will love it
... read it in French
Pickpocket : Robert Bresson's masterful investigation of crime and redemption tells the story of arrogant, young Michel, who spends his days learning the art of picking pockets in the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris.
La Perruche Sugar Cubes imported from France
In music: Le Phare by Yann Tiersen