I was smiling so long as I was next to you

Charles Cowling



In case you missed it, there was one of those stunning, magical moments on the radio on Sunday. 

On Broadcasting House, Emilie Blachère, a reporter for Paris Match, read a love letter/poem to her partner Rémi Ochlik, who died in Syria alongside Marie Colvin last year. 

Hear her read it on the BBC iPlayer. Go to 54 mins 20 secs… and then listen to the response of the presenter, Paddy O’Connell. Click here

The poem begins:


I’ve never found it so difficult to write. My dictionaries are useless. I can already hear you saying, “Sweet Blachère.” So instead I made a list of everything I loved about you.

My angel, my love:

I loved it when you made lists of things you wanted, and you wanted a Harley Davidson, a loft, a 22,000-euro titanium Leica, and you would say to me, “What? You work at Paris Match, don’t you?”

I loved it when you called me Blachère, or Blacherounette, when you had something you wanted to ask me.

I loved it that you wanted to find a country just for the two of us where we could go every year together on assignment.

Read the rest of it here

3 thoughts on “I was smiling so long as I was next to you

  1. Charles Cowling
    Fran Hall

    Thank you for this Charles – a few minutes of pure poetry, love and loss expressed so beautifully.

    Paddy O’Connell’s response was equally poignant

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Jane Morgan

    I heard it, it was immensely moving

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling

    Oh, Charles, that’s strong stuff for a Monday morning…

    Charles Cowling

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