Part 1 of my French Summer Vacation 2012
This is a small commune called Liré with a population of 2,000. This is where my mother and uncle grew up and where my grandparents currently live. Its quite a small simple town, inhabited by few but loved by many. The famous Joachim du Bellay lived here in the XVIth century. He wrote the famous poem “Heureux qui comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”. The lines go by:
Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme cestuy-là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d’usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge !
Quand reverrai-je, hélas, de mon petit village
Fumer la cheminée, et en quelle saison
Reverrai-je le clos de ma pauvre maison,
Qui m’est une province, et beaucoup davantage ?
Plus me plaît le séjour qu’ont bâti mes aïeux,
Que des palais Romains le front audacieux,
Plus que le marbre dur me plaît l’ardoise fine :
Plus mon Loir gaulois, que le Tibre latin,
Plus mon petit Liré, que le mont Palatin,
Et plus que l’air marin la doulceur angevine.
The English translation would be (and keep in mind this is from the internet and not a literal translation):
Happy who, like Ulysses, had a good voyage
Or who, like the man who conquered the fleece,
And then came home filled with usefulness and reason
Lived out the rest of his life with his parents!
When, alas, I think of my little village
With the smoke coming out of the chimney in all seasons
I think of the little garden in my lowly house
Which is to me, a province, and much more
Nothing pleases me like the little house, built by my ancestors
Not the Roman palaces, with their ostentatious entrances
Hard marble does not please me as much as gray slate
I prefer the Gallic Loire, to the Latin Tiber,
I prefer the little Liré to Palatine Hill
And not the sea air but the soft atmosphere of Anjou.
He certainly is a classic and definitely a lover of this little commune (just like my mother) of his which has since modernized and adapted to the modern world. This place is so old fashioned and seems far from the United States and far from developing into an internet-worthy town, but that’s just how it is.
More photos coming next with more stories.