Edinburgh, September, 2005
speaking, George Street is preferable. It's a proud and elegant street.
Frantically, amid its antiaesthetics and tarnished buildings,
Princes Street nonetheless constructs in my wandering exile heart a breakwater
that gladly makes amends for its blatant yet petty pleasures.
In this street I see only its noisy, flashy revelries,
Christmas evenings and disquieting Festival days.
I never see the dreaming of a child or the image of a modern tramway.
But still, from its abnormal angles, my dear friend, this street
gladly steps out to sing my celebrations with me - and here
the web of lights and sentiments invites my eye to entertain itself
in mediaeval mirages, seducing me, driven back to what awaits me.
a whole, silent ritual that takes place between me, the Castle and the
lush, lovely houses of Ramsay Gardens.
But in this spot, passive, ready to filch ideas, I hate all these pastiches
who've converted this street into an unquiet, troubling construct.
And yet, all architectural history is endless, so I plunge
into its profitable silences, imagining that wonderful Edinburgh,
great city that she is, might make a brief appearance at the banquet
of my feelings, as I try - since we're in the same neighbourhood -
to be a good neighbour to a marvellous street
that's not like any other.