Bataille de boules de neige, Lyon 1897

the Lumieres cranked their cinématographe
trains came, babies babied, horses tricked

the washer-woman, the frowning boy
Berlin, Baku, Bucharest — 
everyone’s gone ‘neath death’s blanket

yet this December morning, 
grown-ups are pitching and donking 
it’s snow-melee ! Pity the hapless cyclist
& his immortal hat. 

Video: A wonderful restoration of the Lumiere brothers’ film c/- Joaquim Campa @JoaquimCampa. A quadrille (44 words) for Dverse where Merril is hosting and asks us to use ‘blanket’.

I could watch this all day. (If the video takes too long to load, you can find it here.)

And if that’s not enough, here’s Bang on a Can from 2016 with John Luther Adams’ piece In a Treeless Place, Only Snow. Just chill.

32 thoughts on “Bataille de boules de neige, Lyon 1897

  1. My first thought was “Sometimes you feel like a nut,” part of an old jingle for candy bars Mounds and Almond Joy. The Southern Hemisphere is just going into summer, while we’re headed into the white mess. Such a joyous scene that none who partook in will ever forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliantly penned details, Peter. I feel bad for the bicyclist, but it sure makes a good laugh. I couldn’t believe that they just started pelting him and when he left, it was like nothing happened. Hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much, Peter, for the Lumière footage and a poem that took me back in time, but also reminded me of my own mortality with the line ‘everyone’s gone ‘neath death’s blanket’ I love the ‘hapless cyclist & his immortal hat’!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to read this several times as the rhythm and words wreaked havoc with my dyslexia. But I I finally read it in its entirety and understood. I often look at the old films and think of those that are long buried beneath that ssnow.


  5. kaykuala
    grown-ups are pitching and donking
    it’s snow-melee !

    Seasons come and go but we gladly adjust to bask in the sun and snow as the case may be. Life becomes more interesting! Great poetic language, Pete!



  6. Wow, that video is so powerful when watched alongside your words: that moment is long gone and well buried under the blanket of death, yet it lives in the film, and in your words. Poignant and thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. you brought the movie to life too – so vivacious the fun in your words. And it goes on and so does the blanket of death that covers us all eventually/ What a contrast!
    p.s. did you opt for snow now you are sweltering?

    Liked by 1 person

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