Poetry-Paléo on “Between the lines, between the words” by Frédéric Thomas

Poetry with and in the landscape

An attempt at surveying and looking slowly, in space – along the Adour river, which, over the pages, appears like a traveling companion – and in long time – from prehistory to childhood memories, with “this memory within reach” (page 135) –, Poésie-Paléo takes up prehistoric art. More precisely, “the idea of ​​a non-ostentatious art ”, which “literally blends into the landscape. It is done with and in the landscape” (page 79). “We simply lack the eyes to be able to discern these traces” (page 51).

There are plenty of things that don’t leave a trace

wood decomposes very quickly

and the skin the songs the dances

painting on bodies


and the bodies themselves after a certain time

like the imprint of the boat on the water

like shadows and breaths ” (page 67)

Not without touches of humor, Maxime Morel attempts in the same effort to readjust the look and the writing, to the level of these traces of which “ nature has lost the date of the event ” (Emily Dickinson, quoted on page 67) . This has repercussions on an apprehension of time, the blocks of which come apart to embrace everyday life, the banal and the details, to the point of “ inventing a couple ” (page 113). And the bodies dance

as if all the things of daily life

had changed in ceremony ” (page 144).

Prosaic walks where cargo ships skirt the coasts with prehistoric caves, and where eras collide:

Following the trail again

it takes very quickly

when the eye collides

to the shower bar and the smells of Scotland

(and the fast river goes faster than the Durruti trucks – above the little path is the highway) ” (page 87).

We inhabit this “ home of time ” (page 17) and this landscape, both combined:

after all

we had already mourned ourselves

we were long before and long after ” (page 17).

Is it not the utopia which awakens prehistory, makes its traces emerge, “ since we are also part of this reality which is to be taken but to be changed ” (page 61)? Consequently, drawing inspiration from Emily Dickinson, Maxime Morel's writing seeks to “enter(r) into the landscape”, to let oneself be moved, then carried away by the small wave (page 146). By leaving a trace; visible to those who reinvent the look.

Maxime Morel: Poetry-Paleo
Biarritz, éditions Exopotamie, 2021, 160 pages, €17.

Frederic Thomas

Article published on “ Between the lines between the words ” on April 17, 2021:


Buy the book online: Poetry-Paléo – Éditions Exopotamie