Photo: Le Printemps des Poètes
Spring is in the air.
Our legs may have forgotten what daylight looks like, but don’t despair – there are blue skies ahead, filled with sunshine, birdsong… and poetry!
The Printemps des Poètes has been going since 1982 and has gathered force, encouraging an increasing number of people throughout France (and Quebec) to discover the pleasures of poetry. This March the event will be celebrating its 14th birthday to the tune of Enfance (Childhood). This opens the doors of creativity to insights on memory, language, landscape and much more. It will also examine “poésie pour la jeunesse”, which has become a serious topic of interest within the last decade.
Run by the Centre National de Ressources pour la Poésie, the Printemps des Poètes will see thousands of events taking place in France to celebrate and explore poetry. Not just limited to libraries and bookshops, there will be special street performances, plays, school visits and more.
For those of us in Paris, a recommendation is the performance of sung poetry at the Alhambra on March 13th. In the town of Bezons, there will also be the first showing of Ciné-poème; a selection of short poetry films from the 22nd-24th March. I’m looking forward to checking out “Poèsie dans le monde… Le monde dans la poèsie”, where journalist and poet Ira Feloukatzi will explore the impression of poetry on the world (and vice versa) through a selection of readings. This will take place at the Entrepôt in the 14th arrondissement in Paris on 6th March at 7.15 pm.
But why go? Why is poetry relevant today?
A poem creates both an emotive and visual moment for the reader/listener. The challenge for any poet is to find new ways of expressing what has been said before, rendering the expression new and exciting. Whilst the written poem may play with form to complement the substance, spoken poetry gives a new perspective; turning a private moment (reading) into a public one (reading aloud). It becomes an open performance.
And our generation needs poetry. With the recent explosion of the internet, we have found a means of accessing any information we might desire. You could say that we have become impatient – spoilt and saturated with one-dimensional text. A poem goes beyond this, demanding both conscious and subconscious immersion into our dominant means of communication: words. A good poem so inspires our imagination, striking the core of its essence, every word sharing a relationship with the next, that we start to appreciate the value of text again. In short, with poetry, we can take back the power of communication.
Go to http://www.printempsdespoetes.com for more information on what's on near you.
Le Printemps des Poètes, from 5-18th March, 2012.