Persistent Memory by Jennifer Lagier

licensed giles bizet

Persistent Memory
by Jennifer Lagier

Inside Monet’s house, copper pans against
blue wallpaper, vivid canvas vignettes.
Artists stroll along midnight boulevards,
inhabit Parisian kitchens, Bohemian salons.

Outside, beneath a weeping willow,
his green rowboat swings in the wind.
Watercolors immortalize shadows,
gravel shores, creaking vacancy.

Overlapping lily pads float upon
shimmering pond, refract wavy
impressions of wisteria, Japanese bridge,
feathery clumps of golden bamboo.

Painters set up easels, canvas,
create persistent memories
of inverted pink roses, liquid
delphinium, reflected azaleas.

PHOTO: Water garden at Claude Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, France, by Gilles Bizet, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In the summer of 2003, I was fortunate to be part of a group from Hartnell College, students and instructors, who spent a week in Paris with side trips to Giverny and the Palace of Versailles.

monet giverny

NOTE: Claude Monet lived and painted in Giverny, France,  for 43 years — from 1883 until his death at age 86 in 1926. Monet had the nearby Epte River partially diverted for the gardens and hired up to seven gardeners to tend the grounds. Monet believed it was important to surround himself with nature and paint outdoors. The Fondation Claude Monet is a nonprofit organization that runs and preserves the house and gardens of Claude Monet. The village of Giverny is located 50 miles west-northwest of Paris in the province of Normandy.

PHOTO: Claude Monet next to the water lily pond at his garden in Giverny, France (early 1900s).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published eighteen books. Her work appears in From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Missing Persons: Reflections on Dementia, Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction & Recovery. Her newest book is Camille Comes Unglued (Cyberwit). Forthcoming is Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press). Visit her at

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