In difficult times, it is good to have companions, like a poet for example, on the road to help you get through the trials, in the freshness of innocence and reality, on earth and under the sky.
Poems are a resource, they can irrigate life. "A poem for every season" writes the Belgian poet, Colette Nys-Mazure. Today, in this time of winter, the great cold and snow, are there words that can invigorate us? Yes, without a doubt, Colette Nys-Mazure seems to tell us throughout her literary work with evocative titles. I'm thinking of La chair du poème, petite initiation à la vie poétique (2004), La vie poétique, j'y crois (2015), or that magnificent essay that introduced the writer to the general public, Célébration du quotidien (1997). In the poem de seuil en seuil, she lets herself be inspired by winter and inspires for that day.
Le vent âpre balaie la plaine
Le froid resserre ses pinces
Dans l’interminable obscurité
On guette la neige, sa fragile lumière
(The bitter wind sweeps across the plain
The cold tightens its claws
In the endless darkness
We watch for the snow, its fragile light)
It is fragile the light of the poem given to our memory and to the heart, when life is harsh, the night is long, when the cold surrounds us. But like Colette Nys Mazure, we can go into life with the words of poets who enchant and help to exist.
Every year, the Literary Academy of Brittany and the Pays de la Loire awards the Yves Cosson Poetry Prize, as if to whisper in our ears in the winter breeze: "Passing by in a hurry / don't hurry the step / at your side walks the poet / it's your double onlooker" (Yves Cosson). The 2021 poetry prize has just been awarded, precisely to Colette Nys-Mazure. Here, we know her well. She has been in Anjou for a long time, likes to let herself be inspired in a poetry residency in Rochefort-sur-Loire, leads "Lire, écrire, compter" workshops in Angers, and meets students during seminars and conferences at the Université catholique de l'Ouest. The literary jury, in saluting the poetic work of Colette Nys-Mazure, emphasizes how much the poet enchants the world by inventing images and music that rekindle fires in the night and awaken lively attention to the living. She tells us how much we need poets. Three years ago, she asked me to preface her book Prayers in All Weathers, which she had published with the publisher Loyalty. I recommend this collection which allows you to face the crossing of days less alone and to go forward in prayer:
Aide-moi à saisir l’instant,
À entretenir la ferveur et l’éveil,
À bondir alors que je demeure
Tel un enfant qui n’ose se jeter
Dans les bras grands ouverts.
Help me seize the moment,
To maintain fervor and awakening,
To leap while I stay
Like a child who does not dare to throw himself
With arms wide open.