Autumn, Danbury, Connecticut


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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

02 November, 2010

The Poetry Bus: When in France

This week's Poetry Bus is driven by the talented Jessica Maybury. Our prompt is to write about an experience with bathing. I am blessed to be affiliated with the Association for Franco-Irish Studies through my wonderful doctoral dissertation supervisor who is the Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, Dublin, Ireland. This past May, I presented a paper at our annual conference in Reims, France. Ever since I spoke that first French word in my ninth grade French class in Allen Park Michigan, I've longed to go to that country. Finally, my dreams came true this past May, oh, but not without the unfortunate realization that there were no washcloths at my hotel. So.....

The view from my hotel room in Reims, France, photo taken May 2010.
When in France

In a French hotel in la cité de Reims,
an American searches for a washcloth. 
Alas, she finds none in this room,
so she must make do. This is France after all.
Sparkling white tub beckons her.
“Okay, Okay!”
She turns the water handle to HOT
and gently pours shampoo into the steady stream,
splashing the rising water to create more bubbles.
Then, smiling, she steps into the steaming water,
now filled with mounds of fluffy, fragrant bubbles,
closes her eyes and whispers to the 13-year-old girl
sitting in a French class, south of Detroit, decades ago.
“Yes, Jeanne… you will be in France one day.”

Jeanne I. Lakatos  2010

BTW.... For the launch of The Poetry Bus Magazine, drop by the Glor Sessions, 8:30-ish p.m. (Dublin Time) around 3:30-ish p.m. (E.S.T.) with Stephen James Smith @ the International Bar on Wicklow Street, Dublin, this coming Monday, Nov. 8. 
For those of us who are NOT in Dublin, we can view the show LIVE on the Internet by going to this site: 


  1. Lovely! Making do in France...leads to lovely memories.

  2. I love this! I was in France for one night on a whirlwind tour 23 years ago - I don't recall a lack of wash cloths - but it was Paris, perhaps they were more advanced. Heh.

  3. Thanks, Dana. Yes, Parisians know how to deal with us crazy Americans and our need for such amenities. If you can, be sure to catch the Poetry Bus launch LIVE from the International Bar in Dublin on Monday afternoon... around 3:30-4:00 EST.

  4. Not sure what a washcloth is... maybe the thing we in the UK call a flannel? Always manage fine with my hands myself...
    It's great to get places you've always dreamed of. Me I've never been to the US... not yet...

  5. A neat comment on cultural relativity via different approaches to ablutions!

  6. Jeanne, love the associations with a dream come true and the sensuality of immersion in the bathtub. 'See' you at the live link then. : )

  7. I do hope a shampoo bath didn't make your toes curl, like hair! :)

  8. I expect the Reims washcloth manufacturers were on strike that week. Must be wonderful to fulfill your childhood dreams

  9. Rachel, not sure if a washcloth is a flannel or not. You'll have plenty to see when you get to the States. That's for sure!

    Thanks, Patteran!

    Liz, Thank you! Yep, I'll be there... as always! If Stephen would set up a second computer, we could recite our poems via Skype!

    Oh Jinksy! So that's why my toes curled! ; )

    Peter, Perhaps! More like teenage dreams than childhood. Actually, my childhood dreams included teaching, which I've managed to do my entire adult life. Wouldn't have it any other way! : )

  10. Jeanne Iris, I was so sure I'd commented here. Your being in France was one of the reasons I started thinking abroad for this prompt.
    I really liked this, but particularly those first two lines. They are like an open door to a world of imagining.

    And washcloth is a flannel. I think.

  11. Thank you, Titus. And wasn't that a hoot chatting with the other Poetry Bus riders in the margins of the Glor Sessions? Hope to see y'all again next Monday!

  12. delicious poetry.
    your header is timeless.
    magical blog.

  13. Welcome to our potluck week 10, a poetry award is assigned upon submission.
    Old poems are welcome …hurry up, you have 12 hours to go before we are closed.
    Hope to see you there. Cheers!

    I signed in to follow your blog.
    welcome follow us back.

  14. Thank you, JP. Potluck week, what a great concept. Unless I can find a quick 'oldie' I'll catch up with you next week... oodles of essays to grade for tomorrow's classes.


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