About Où nos ombres s’épousent
It is always a joy to greet a new, young poet – « neither a ‘poète maudit’ nor an exile » –, as his publisher underscores on the front cover. On Stéphane Bataillon’s blog – which is updated everyday – the poet claims the legacy of Guillevic and Claude Vigée – poetry, too, requires father figures. Yet, Stéphane Bataillon has a voice of his own, both strong and sensitive: « I have simply lost/the woman I loved« . This book is born of bereavement, one that is stupefied by despair: « Wanting everything to look like/the emptiness one bears« . Sometimes, the choice of words is abrupt: « Tears held back/loneliness will kill you there. » But with poets, pain catches on the words and they make another life possible: « I had promised you/a caress every night/From now on, it will be a poem. » Writing saves – and a mourning song becomes a life chant. The poet knows the necessity to « Keep the oath […]/ And move the dunes/with the sole ambition/to connect with each other. » We must « honour the committment », he says. It is not a question of forgetting, of disavowing the past. It is a question of living with the memory: « Neither turning the page/nor changing course/Carrying on. » The poet sets off towards life: « I take the chance of the crowd. » This poetry is very efficient indeed: its language is simple, there are few images, but considerable sensitivity to explore. We will, very likely, hear of this new, young poet soon again. Let us hope. He is good to us.
Bernard Fournier, review Europe n°984, April 2011
About Les Terres rares :
Transmission and remembrance. Writing, and hoping to be able to make way for the coming mystery, especially if it has the face of a child. Thus sails Stéphane Bataillon in his new book, Les Terres rares. Poems are dinghys of exiles sailing between childhoods. The poet’s – questioning, amazed: « Who have we become/Between the dots of childhood?/What are the intentions/of those who have grown up? » – and that of the child to come, the addressee of clear and simple words, fished at the bottom of life. » And I whispered to you/not to worry/that everything would take place/with one more voice/And then you started/to think. » Rare earths, the name those strange metals are given in geology, are under our feet. They support each man’s fate – with tenderness. There is a great gentleness and simplicity in this book. « No rising fear/Not quite/Or maybe/Or maybe just/To enter the forest/And the crow that speaks/And the clock/Ticks. » Stéphane Bataillon’s verse belongs to the tradition of humanistic poetry where sacred and life are closely intertwined. Wilderness – especially that of childhood (beaches and mountains), serves as raw material. Landscapes pass the world over. And we pass them through, looking for an origin: » If the choice were yours/Which word would you write down/To start time? » Moving forward, going through time looking for rare earths, such is the breadcrumb trail of this beautiful collection.
Pascal Ruffenach, La Croix, June 27, 2013