It always seems a good idea
To accept whatever’s going
Sometimes this is unwise, I fear
There’s no sure way of knowing!
I undertook to write a book
On Europe’s capital city
From French, quite easy at first look
I would be sitting pretty.
But French is quite a tricky tongue
Its nouns and verbs change places
We use the passive, they use “one”
Its style - all airs and graces.
Pragmatic English, spades are spades
At least so I have thought
But words can have so many shades
Of meaning; I’m distraught.
The deadline looms, the pages flow
I re-read through the text
Sometimes a phrase will just not go
It’s really quite complex.
The aim of course is very clear
When you pick up this tome
It must read as to a native’s ear
The challenge is my own!
(c) Poet in the woods 2014
Thierry Demey: Brussels, Capital of Europe
History Heritage Badeaux Guide Book (2007)