Primal drum beat, musicians, one with their art, know only the sound of the drum, set to music, dancing man, stubble of white whiskers against olive brown sun wrinkled skin, tweed jacket, fez, shuffles to the beat, takes the hand of a young woman sweeps her into the flow, percussion of the music, they dance into the rhythm.
On the smooth marble patio, they break dance, spin, twist, jump up, between the wings, of cement semi-circle that is the Chaillot Palace. Vendors, tourists, kids, feet with wheels, roller skates, in-line hot-shots, surf the smooth marble parvis between Palace wings, dodge and weave amongst tourists, ride the edge of their blades, scrape the border of the parvis, watched by tourists, watched by golden goddesses, dry statues in a dry fountain between the wings, skaters twist over words carved in marble, they skate away, gain speed, return, launch, fly closer to the tower, rejoin the dancers, on the balcony below.
Without Passion, love, desire, the world of infinite dimension lies in two - colors wash away, leaving only shades of gray. The south wall of the palace, above the musicians, above the roller bladers, above the tourists, translates "Man is created without knowing; How he breathes; But the artist must feel to create; His act engages all his being; It's beloved sorrow fortifies him."
The balcony drops fifty feet from the marble square to the U-shaped red stone pathway and water cannon fountain. Wide cement stair cases sweep down each side, cement like the palace, in symmetry with it's wings. Hot shots blade down the hard cement -- backwards, No Fear. Skaters sweep and weave on the red stone, slalom between cones or coke cans, on one leg, they speed towards the cobblestone wasteland of traffic and bumps: la Place de Varsovie, where an ambulance is parked, manned, awaiting the unsuccessful, but the skaters twist, spin, stop, and do it again.
Water cannons between long arms of the red driveway blast in regular intervals towards Eiffel's tower, between luxurious, robust, voluptuous, naked statues who enjoy the freedom. All that is Trocadéro leads the eye to the tower, and for that the tourist busses come. Palace wings lead the eye around the fountains, across the river Seine, to the tower, to the Champs de Mars -- the field of the god of war, blanket of green grass, the military academy lawn.
The new symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, built for a world's fair one hundred years ago, to be marveleous then removed. The mere thought of its temporary presence drew protests from Parisian people. They didn't want it for a minute, they protested, but they relented and it stayed ten years, then one hundred.
Adopted as his subject for half of his life, artist Robert Delaunay, contemplated the tower, it's angles. He converted feeling, knowledge, to the canvas, to cubist contrasts of color, shared his impressions, in the spirit of Picasso, he painted what he knew must be there; we visit his world on the canvas. His thoughts are share with us. His beloved struggle fortifies.
At storm height, at the top of the tower, where the wind is not dampened by the friction of the earth, not blocked by buildings, and howls at full intensity, closer to sky than earth, it shakes the tourists, ever so slightly, it's needle-point top, looks over all the city, all the city that looks over her.
Complete text, followed by line-by-line translation, of the words inscribed at Trocadéro.
Thanks to Jennifer Feldman Klau for her help with the translation.
Tout homme crée sans le savoir
Man is created without knowing,
Comme il respire
How he breathes
Mais l'artiste se sent créer
But the artist must feel to create
Son acte engage tout son être
His act engages all his being
Sa peine bien-aimée le fortifier
His beloved sorrow fortifies him
Il dépend de celui qui passe
It depends on who passes by
Que je suis tombe ou trésor
Whether I am fallen or treasure
Que je parle ou je me taise.
Whether I speak or remain silent
Ceci ne tient qu'a toi
This is addressed only to you
Ami n'entre pas sans désir.
Friend, do not come unless you desire.
on the square -- the side away from the Eiffel Tower:
Les Hommes naissent et demeurent libres et égaux en droits.
Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.
- Article I de la déclaration de 1787
-Article I of the declaration of 1787
le 30 mai 1986
30 May 1986
François Mitterand, Président de la République
Francois Mitterand, President of the Republic
A donne le nom
Gave the name
Parvis des Libertés et Droits de L'Homme
Liberties and Human Rights Square
L'esplanade du Palais du Chaillot
The esplanade of the Chaillot Palace
found on the marble square on the side of the Eiffel Tower:
Des défenseurs des Droits de L'Homme et du citoyen de tous Pays
Defenders of The Rights of Man and the citizens of every country
Se sont rassembles sur ce parvis. Ils ont rendu hommage
have gathered on this square. They have paid homage
aux victimes de la faim, de l'ignorance et de la violence.
to victims of hunger, ignorance and violence.
Ils ont affirme leur conviction que la misère n'est pas fatale
They have asserted their conviction that poverty is not destiny
Ils ont proclame leur solidarité avec ceux qui luttent a travers le monde
They have proclaimed their solidarity with those who struggle throughout the
pour la détruire.
world to destroy it.
La ou des hommes sont condamnes a vivre dans la misère
Where men are condemned to live in poverty
Les droits de l'Homme sont Violes
Human rights are Violated
S'unir pour les faire respecter est un devoir Sacre
Coming together to make them respect is a sacred duty.
- Père Joseph Wresinski
- Father Joseph Wresinski
Mail to Clyde Lovett: firstname.lastname@example.org