You can destroy a city of cement-n-bricks
But you can never its ruling spirit;
A city like Paris can never be vanquished
By the guns and mortar, for it has got
A Rabelais and Moliere and Sartre in its bones and dust;
The Paris of 1789 still beckons all the
Intellectuals, activists and the exiled artists,
Lending them hopes for a more humane future;
In its current avatar, our beloved Paris, no longer
That rich, but still welcomes all the dispossessed
Of the battered earth with open arms of a beaming mother!
On its poor streets or sordid neighbourhood filled with
The immigrants and even illegals working corner stalls or selling trinkets, and, daily dreaming of a just world;
You never get questioned here for being different or taunted with drunken slurs
Or viciously assaulted and even brutally murdered by the thugs or police officers;
Along The Seine, you can still find a Voltaire, if alert!
The air in the city blessed by the Muses retains the haunting song
Of “Liberty, equality and fraternity,” despite a passage of time and can be easily heard by hordes of eager tourists and workers;
The Bastille Prison transmits live messages to postmodernist,
Post-colonial and post-industrial France and her entranced devotees and admirers;
An attack on satire never pays off anywhere!
Humour — Immortal!
The freedoms are material ideas that can never be crushed — now or ever by the mad gunmen or dictators.
Paris lives on in the solidarity shown by the people around the democratic world;
Messengers of discord and planters of hatred, lend your ears, clogged with the wax of venom,
Lovely Paris — home for the exiles and the dissidents; painters, musicians and writers — can never be conquered by bullets!
Charlie Hebdo, unafraid!
A new global icon of resistance and fearlessness.