Tienda Gourmet

Prix Goncourt of poetry: the moving tribute to Tahar Ben Jelloun for Yvon Le Men

“You are a troubadour, a traveller, which bears the poem in places, sometimes improbable, sometimes on important scenes ; you’re the messenger of a word is always sharp, urgent, and rarely peaceful. The poetry lives in you to the point where your whole life is dedicated to him. You go from a city to a village, a plain, a prairie, to tell, to recite the poem that needs to be said to live, who needs to be heard to continue his journey to other audiences.

You are a poet of the field, an observer without a break, you go over the earth, you are in real life, and also invisible and you say in your poems.

This is because you’re absolutely convinced that poetry will save the world, a world that is more and more worried, sick, or unconscious. You are certain that only poetry will raise awareness and perhaps initiate a wake up healthy and necessary.

“You pass with happiness, your rage and your sense of wonder”

This is because you consider that “the poem is the shortest path from one man to another” (Eluard), that you are a smuggler, you will pass with happiness, your rage and your sense of wonder.

As Kateb Yacine, who is arrested one day to Sidi Bel Abas by an old man who can neither read nor write, and said to him “you’re Kateb, that is to say a writer, then sit down and listen to me”, it happened to you, you also be arrested in a street in Lannion by a stranger who says to you: “You’re a poet, you’ve got the time, you listen to me”!

You listen to it because the poet is one who listens to the world, who takes the time to collect the words of those who pass by, such as “these men, tired hands before the time/ who built the house of my poems”

You query the words, your tools, your friends, your companions ; they spend looking at the eyes in the leaves/ trees that lose/ on the grass that they pollinate.

You say:

“Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches And then here is my heart which only beats for you/

Don’t tear it with your two white hands.”

“take You off the beaten track”

You are a traveler ; you take shortcuts, you don’t choose the right line, you’re guided by a vivid curiosity having in mind these verses by Constantine Cavafy: “When thou shalt take the road to Ithaca/ Hope that lasts the journey / it to be full of adventures and full of lessons”.

You are in life, life wide, you say. You have made several times in Sarajevo, and you have all absorbed, the ground full of blood, faces devastated, tired hands, prying humans who were expecting a bit of poetry for a living.

Elsewhere, in Beijing, in a large theater you have read a poem on the death of your mother. The room moved was silent. In the end, someone came to see you, and you said “We lost our mother, we also…”.

You mention, with regard to this desire for poetry, “a small lamp in the night of consciousness, to shine in it”.

Dear Yvon Le Men, your poetry enlightens us and shows us the way. It is not easy, it is not given, because it is in each of us. The poetry helps us to find it and to follow it with rigor and requirement.

Thank you Dear Yvon Le Men to have translated for us the noise of the water and the poetry of the wind when it crosses the branches of the tree of life. “

Tahar Ben Jelloun

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