Posted by: tsopr | December 20, 2010

Martine L. Jacquot, French-Canadian Poet

Martine L. Jacquot is considered one of the most important representatives of francophone literature in Nova Scotia. Born in France, she has been living in Canada for almost 30 years. She has published over 20 books in Canada and in France including poetry, novels, short stories, essays and children books. Her work also appears in many journals and anthologies. Some of her work has been translated into English, Russian, Italian, Portuguese and Arabic. As a journalist, she has written hundreds of articles on arts, culture and history. As a photographer, she has illustrated books and magazine articles, took part in group exhibitions and won several awards. She has travelled on three continents to lecture about her creative process and read from her work. She holds a Ph.D. in French literature from Dalhousie University. She has received a number of grants and awards for her work including the Prix Européen de l’Association des Écrivains de Langue Française in Paris. She was a finalist several times for the Prix Éloizes, Prix France-Acadie and Prix Radio-Canada.

                                Featured Poem of Martine L. Jacquot

Flowers of bread*

To say the words that have never
been said
The letters that have never
been written
The poems that have never
been read
To read in tour eyes the unpublished poem
of generations of silence

To howl at the moon with all the wolves
when the night turns white
and embraces lose their tastes
To kill the oppressors with our words
To create a work of art instead of delivering a speech

To write down the mute words of illiterate prophets
To let the wind spread them all over the world
like an indefinable-coloured wave
To carry the message as one world share some bread

Not to forget the black part in the picture
nor the elements of reality
To start from the clay of clumps of tillage
and invent the space for the dream
with all its shades of fire and light

To sacrifice the tree
only when the message to transcribe
becomes urgent
To let the wind blow the poem away
like a flock of birds scatters
in the after-growth

To uncover the invisible details
of everyday life
To drive away the sea and to dry the tears
when the cycle of seasons
gives birth again to the harvest
To celebrate the power
of a seed of wheat

To forget the blind elite
To join the others
To tell them we love them
with our gestures of colour
and music

To speak up
so that the light doesn’t go out
To bind the hands of sorcerers
before they burn everything
To cultivate the land
so that hunger does not exist
any longer

To break the crust of the century
and to become aware of its disease
To protect our visionary madness
outside of time before a failed stand
or to write the beauty of the world
while the ink still
flows

To write words of ink
to fill your silence
To transform your eternal absence
into absurd lyrics
To imagine your company
through the blind mirage of poetry
To dream of sharing with you
the sacred bread of
our impossible love

To go beyond words
in the gesture
of the sower of
bread

* translated from French by the author from her collection «Fleurs de Pain», Ed du Vermillon, Ottawa, 1991.

Copyright © 2010 Martine L. Jacquot

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