Poetry-Paleo on Poezibao by Stéphane Lambion

Photography © Claude Rouyer

(Reading note), Maxime Morel, Poetry-Paléo , by Stéphane Lambion

In literature, we like to talk about UFOs all the time: we almost come to think that between literary studies and ufology, the divide is thinner than it seems. It is certain, in any case, that Maxime Morel's book will delight lovers of difficult to identify literary forms. True to its title, it is a book that demands to be considered with the attention of a paleontologist: the author himself advocates a form of slowness which is both that of the natural human rhythm and that of the landscape. It is undoubtedly not insignificant, moreover, that the collection opens with a poem which highlights the “Self-Landscape” (p. 16), connecting by a hyphen two essential components of the book . This link will then be declined in many different ways, and we will discover several ways of connecting “Self” and the “Landscape”.

Quickly, however, a third element is added to the equation: time. Besides the constant and primordial reference to Paleolithic art (which appears as a model in its own right), Poetry-Paleo is built on a set of historical features and legends, often linked to the Basque Country, whose geography infuses the work – especially through the Adour, which is like a common thread both symbolic and historical (d elsewhere, “You knew that in the 16th century century we diverted the arrival of the Adour? », p. 41). It is therefore first of all historical time which is added to the relationship between “Self” and the “Landscape”, but it is also concrete time, that of reading and writing on the one hand, and that of human life on the other hand – that is to say the time it takes, for example, to go by car from La Barre d'Anglet, near Biarritz, to Sandwood Bay*, in Scotland: “Cut-Up Route” (p. 37) thus uses Google Maps road directions in detail to offer the reader a poem that is enjoyable for its absurd character but also for the bridge it builds between such distant places.

The reference to this crossing is found around twenty pages later: “he takes the west / always the west / runs along the United Kingdom / caresses the irregular coasts of Scotland / and the night! – the night of mist – / the water is lost in the water // the Adour is a river” (p. 63). And another twenty pages later, "the eye bumps / against the rain bar and the smells of Scotland" (p. 87): what we see is that Poetry-Paleo is constructed according to a skillful repetition of intertwined motifs – a certain number of poems are also described as “motifs” in their very title (and one cannot help but see there, once again, the idea of 'a rock motif which would line the book and give it its material).

A multi-faceted journey interweaves through all these motifs – and this journey is quite successful: Poetry-Paleo will not only delight ufology enthusiasts. Furthermore, Maxime Morel's book is one of the first books from a publishing house that recently emerged: Exopotamie. In its catalog we also find a collection by Marie Lo Pinto entitled Fugues : a long series of notes and intimate remarks through which an identity, a story, a personality is constructed. There too, motifs intertwine, but they are of another kind, much more concrete – sometimes deliberately trivial – and much more everyday: if Maxime Morel offers a universal journey of Man in History, Marie Lo Pinto offers an individual journey of a woman in her history. The poetic research is completely different, but we can only salute, in both cases, the editorial work of the house: let us therefore hope that Exopotamia has a bright future.

Stéphane Lambion

Maxime Morel, Poetry-Paléo , Éditons Exopotamie, March 2021, 160 p., €17

Article published on POEZIBAO on April 7, 2021:
https://poezibao.typepad.com/poezibao/2021/04/note-de-lecture-maxime-morel-po%C3%A9sie-pal%C3%A9o-par-st%C3%A9phane-lambion.html? fbclid=IwAR2AyDJ4WRPFXku1-R54yHz3p5Mj2Jq73FBBtjjN8sPqyXdg3OzfQFXwYjs

Buy the book online: Poetry-Paleo – Éditions Exopotamie