Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Berte nee Froukje de Tocqueville de Jeu

Alexis de Tocqueville wandered the land,
America the vast, a country unplanned,
By train and by boat, he travelled afar,
He had but a horse, no motor, no car.

Prisons his subject, but finding not much,
He talked to the English, the French, and the Dutch,
At heart it was people he chose to pursue,
Americans becoming - red, white, and blue.

He penned a new story, his classic tract:
Democracy in America, part fiction, part fact,
Chronicle classic of farm and town hall,
Eight score and some, the work has stood tall.

But eons have passed since Tocequeville's great tome.
Another observer has called these States home.
Who is this person, this master of clue?
Tis Berte nee Froukje, de Tocqueville de Jeu.

With camera in hand, and notebook in tow
Hither and thither she'd travel and go,
Wim her companion, but Berte in charge,
Traversing a country small place and large.

Brimfield's antiques to Maine's rocky coast,
Nevada's casinos, Utah's rock red ghosts.
Navajo country, the nation's Great Parks,
She read in the morning, watched movies at dark.

Bike shops in Boston, Jamaica Plain art,
Tanglewood music, New York's Central Park.
American politics, from Town Meeting to Prez,
'Twas Obama's great loss, not to see her son wed!

She climbed great Mt Orient, always up for a walk,
On return to the Netherlands, she'll give quite a talk,
Humbly omitting her personal feats,
Like fixing Joe's cricks, and Gina's cold feet.

The finale will find her a fan of James Rose,
American rebel whose art we suppose
Differs from most, and thus has a touch
Of questioning, arguing, adventuring Dutch.

To Netherlands she'll fly, New Yorker in tow,
Leaving us wanting, sad you must know.
"Tell us a tale Ms. de Jeu!" they will say!
"What did you do? Where did you stay?"

And thus this reply we posit you'll give,
Of Amherst and environs, where Americans live:
"I saw a strange country that Tocqueville once knew,
But found something else. Oh how time flew!"

With great affection,

The Emily's of Amherst