For the fifth time, a poetry weekend, “Festival O+O”, (= Au plus haut de Paris) was organised at Butte aux Cailles.

I have already posted about this little area of Paris, e.g. here, here and here, but maybe I should just remind you that we are on a modest hill-top, with a partly preserved feeling of a little village, which it once was - outside Paris until 1860. Close to the now covered, extinct, brook called Bièvre, it used to be a place where tannery and fabric industries were present. It’s also linked to social struggles, the Commune… It should be remembered that it was on its central square, Place Verlaine, that the first human flight landed and that’s also where you find one of the three spring water wells remaining in Paris (see here, here and here). Today, Butte aux Cailles is also a place for street art and a number of nice, simple, restaurants and bars. Few tourists take this direction, but many – young – Parisians do, especially during the evening hours.  

Last weekend you could meet some surprising “tents” walking around the streets. They “hid” a number of poets, who had chosen this way to present some of their poems, welcoming guests to visit their “tents”. The action was called "poetical shower".

There were many other ways to present poetry - on the streets, in the gardens, in shops, on walls…

On the main street, Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, there is a kind of library, which actually is a place for different social activities, “Les Amis de la Bienvenue”. Of course they offered poetry readings … and books.

At the Place de la Commune with its Wallace Fountain (see here), there were other activities ongoing, including help to write some poetry postcards to your friends, some Indian dancing...  

Much more happened, but you can’t be everywhere. I also wished to walk around, feel the atmosphere…

… check if there was any new street art.

In the evening some theatre performances by poets, stand-up artists… were offered.

On the way home, I could enjoy the special atmosphere of this little area…

… and get it confirmed that it’s a quite popular place among the younger population. 


martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

Une manière très romantique de s'approprier l'oeuvre du poète le temps de la lecture avec ces tentes...
De très jolies photos pour illustrer ce bel évènement.
J'aime beaucoup celle avec la toute petite ombrelle en dentelle...

Lors de ma prochaine visite à Paris (bientôt), je te fais signe !

Gros bisous ☼

Thérèse said...

De quoi nouer ou renouer avec la poésie d'une bien agréable manière et surtout de voir que foule s'y intéresse dans cette France devenue un pays plein d'incertitudes...

Cezar and Léia said...

I need a time of "poetical shower", because I love poetry and this idea is so interesting ( and modern ).
People need poetry, culture...art!
ahh, love the bike image, very clever capture!
hugs and a nice week

JudyMac said...

Only in Paris! Wonderful and unique!

joanna said...


Wonderful photo's of this artistic event. I would have loved to be there, and have a presenters tent of my own as well as visit all the inspiring delightful artists. At least I can see through your lens.

Anonymous said...

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer to Elisa Guillén

Rhyme # 53

The dark swallows will return
their nests upon your balcony, to hang.
And again with their wings upon its windows,
playing, they will call.
But those who used to slow their flight
at the sight of your beauty
and my happiness to watch,
those, that learned our names,
those...will not come back.

Rhyme #21

What is poetry? you ask, while fixing
your blue pupil on mine.
What is poetry! And you are asking me?
Poetry... is you.

Beautiful post, M. Peter!
Mil gracias.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Peter. Hope you are well. I have lots of photos of Buttes aux Cailles. This is one of the first places I went to , on my first visit to Paris in April 2009. The reason we were there, was for a Bloggers lunch. We came from all over, including Australia. Also there is a fabulous Tea shop there. L'Oisive Thé, Salon de Thé et Tricot and a lovely Honey shop.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Must say there seems to be a lot more Street Art now, and what a fabulous idea for a Poetry weekend.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Must say there seems to be a lot more Street Art now, and what a fabulous idea for a Poetry weekend.