Hunger Is Good Discipline

A new song written and recorded for the Hemingway Society’s virtual gathering “Holidays With Hemingway,” December 18, 2020.

Watch the YouTube video here: “Hunger Is Good Discipline”

Paris in December, iron clouds about to crash
Your guts are gone and hollowed out, your pockets full of ash
Your dreams at times as comatose as bodies in a morgue
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Up and down the boulevards, Saint Jacquues and Saint Michelle
You wonder if you’re walking into Paradise or Hell
You stop and gaze at Marshall Ney, who gestures with his sword
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Old men at a chessboard, beneath the barren trees
Their faces wrapped in woolen scarves, their hands between their knees
The bishop takes the faithless knight, the rook just bars the door
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Step inside le musée to speak with Paul Cezanne
You ache to write the way he paints. Starvation lingers on
Then back out in the biting wind amidst the crowds and roar
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Down on Rue de l’Odeon in Shakespeare’s Company
Syvia smiles to see your face and she offers you black tea
The smell of books and candle wax and papers on the floor
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Pass by the roasted chestnuts, the mandarins and spice
The cheeses and the long baguettes, don’t think about them twice
The plums, the apples, les pommes de terre, croissants sold by the score
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

You learned it all from Ezra, Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein
Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Flaubert, the finest of fine wines
They say that Joyce went starving here, Verlaine, Stendhal, George Moore
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

So write you one true sentence, the truest that you know
And if you find success in that, the rest will surely flow
Don’t doubt that you can do it, you did it once before
Hunger is good discipline in Jardins du Luxembourg

Copyright © 2020 by Michael Kim Roos

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