Meet Antoine Bérard, a very talented poet who is continuing a tradition that can trace its roots back to the 13th century. He’s an écrivain public – a public street writer – who for a small donation will create a unique poem for you.
You’ll stumble across him on a pavement in the centre of Paris. He chooses his location, sets out his vintage typewriter on a little folding table, pins up his handwritten sign explaining his craft then waits …
But not for very long.
Soon there’s a queue of people snaking along the pavement, waiting patiently to have their poems written, with curious bystanders watching the scene.
Bérard has a magical talent for creating poetry from any subject. You tell him what you would like and within a few moments his fingers are floating across the typewriter keys. In the middle of a busy street. He’s so absorbed by his task that he doesn’t seem to notice the gathering crowds, people taking photographs and others peeking over his shoulder. He just continues to type, head down, concentrating on his words.
It’s a beautiful and unique gift to give someone special in your life, and his growing line of clients clearly think so too.