L’Orient Le Jour
The French did try,
To bring Paris to Beirut,
Like Haussmann had,
Tried to tame Paris,
A few decades before,
Fit it into boulevards,
Write it anew with Le Monde.
They tried to entice,
The Lebanese,
To start each day,
With a crescent croissant,
And L’Orient Le Jour,
Sip and tame the news,
With their coffee,
Take in the day,
In the French way.
And it worked,
Like a layer of Frenchness,
Which you could wear,
And then take off,
And were still the same,
Like a good perfume,
Frenchness still persists,
If you smell carefully,
The Levant air.
The daily news does start
With L’Orient le Jour,
Its building has survived,
Burnt and bulleted,
Still standing and printing,
Next to the old war trench,
But now each day
is more Beirut than French.