Ellen Ferrante


An Ode to “La Vie en Rose”

Hold me close and hold me fast

hazy as thick summer air

the magic spell you cast

that’s sweet and unaware,

this is la vie en rose

…yet only for a moment.

When you kiss me heaven sighs-

daylight setting into night,

and though I close my eyes,

the moon small, yet so bright

I see la vie en rose,

a spotlight in the shadows.

When you press me to your heart,

your arms hold around my waist,

I’m in a world apart

where problems are erased,

a world where roses bloom,

I’ve forgotten all your wrongs.

(And when you speak, angels sing from above

a warning or blessing, I cannot tell.

Every day words seem to turn into love songs

my stomach is twisting and I don’t feel well.)

And I’m haunted by your phrase:

give your heart and soul to me,

think of me all your days

and life will always be

wilting into brittle gloom-

la vie en rose.


“This piece offers a reflection to the lyrics of the song ‘La Vie en Rose’ (literally ‘Life in Pink’), as popularized by Édith Piaf.  The italicized lines are the original song lyrics. The non-italicized lines, written just for this poem, mimic the form of the original lyrics, so the words fit to the tune of ‘La Vie en Rose.’ However, read them separately, and they form a different poem.”

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