Image by Caroline Forbes

Esprit de l'Escalier

Julia Copus


Esprit de l'Escalier

Julia Copus


Poem introduction

There's a French expression, ésprit de l'éscalier, which roughly translates as 'staircase wit', and it's used to describe that brilliant, cutting remark you think of just a little bit too late, after the conversation's over and you're on your way out and down the stairs. The poem imagines a whole heap of these witty comments literally squirreled away under the stairs where they can easily be dug out and concealed about the person - ready for use.

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