The Eiffel Tower in mourning, 14 November 2015. (EPA/Etienne Laurent)
Freedom of expression and liberty are cornerstones of French heritage. While it is important to express one’s sentiments and opinions on social media, it’s also imperative that people understand what it means to lose someone near and dear. We can choose either to make grand political statements and gain several “likes” for those oratory skills or to internalize the emotions felt by the victims and take a more informed approach.
This short poem is a monologue of the Eiffel Tower, darkened in mourning, watching in silence the chaos its mother city faces in the wake of the November 13 attacks. The message here is to internalize the emotions rather than to ramble publicly. – Urvashi Bundel
By Urvashi Bundel
Today I stand tall
Ambushed, petrified and weeping
No dreamer basking at Seine
No more faux pledges invoked
Like an impaired dancing carousel
A cursory civility empowering all
And I internalize
Flicking leaves of tabloids,
Licking tongues of terror
Tickling minds of the emperors
Grimaced wry faces of l’horreur
Flustering heights of this city,
Flummoxed cornerstones with scorched bones
Existence is what I mean….
Even though I stand tall,
Urvashi Bundel is a specialist in public international law and international criminal law. She is currently working for the United Nations with a focus on conflict zones. She holds degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States and Leiden University in the Netherlands. She is a 2004 winner of poetry competition at the National Book Fair in India.