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Be a Flâneur! As Bijan Stephen writes on the Paris Review blog:

“The figure of the flâneur—the stroller, the passionate wanderer emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture—has always been essentially timeless; he removes himself from the world while he stands astride its heart…the flâneur heralded an incisive analysis of modernity, perhaps because of his connotations: “[the flâneur] was a figure of the modern artist-poet, a figure keenly aware of the bustle of modern life, an amateur detective and investigator of the city, but also a sign of the alienation of the city and of capitalism,” as a 2004 article in the American Historical Review put it. ”

Channel your Walt Whitman and hit the streets observing people and interactions, noting birds and animals, jotting it all down in a notebook to become a poem. If you’re feeling really inspired, truly engage your Whitman and skip out of work after your lunch break to engage your senses on the sidewalk. Here’s a section from “Song of Myself” for inspiration:

12
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife at the stall in the market,
I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.

 

Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great heat in the fire.

 

From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements,
The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms,
Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand so sure,
They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

 

 

 

 

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