Sunday, January 1, 2017

Béatrice Machet (from the Chicago area, 2016 comes to its end)

Béatrice Machet (from the Chicago area, 2016 comes to its end)

Some insights and my testimony about the experience of Project 366 (Project 365+1)


I was in Lyon when Kit’s invitation popped up on my computer screen. It was something like ten days after New Year 2016 and I was treating myself with outings and art exhibitions and concerts … A period of time I also dedicated to meditation and reflection on what my life would become after the “Macao episode”. I was back to a French environment, so the idea of keeping in touch with the English language on a daily basis, not only through reading and translating, but also through writing, immediately appealed to me.  Not to mention that I was thrilled about discovering a bunch of people whose poetry I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read without being introduced via the 366 blog. Apart from Kit, Chrysogonus, and Feï, all the other participants were absolutely unknown people, perfect strangers to my consciousness. Also, to be connected with visual artists was great. And the ritual of posting, reading, commenting, participating was one of the highlights of the day. A way of escaping the Franco-French artistic environment and to unfold other antennas, to stay plugged in a strange web where people were living part of their lives together though on different continents.  

So I just got myself started and posting a poem a day was a bit of a challenge when from time to time I had to cope with a hectic time table, and yet I almost managed to write each day a poem in English and come with a French version for it.

It was important for me to start directly writing in English. Translating my French stuff would have sounded weird I suppose. The momentum had to be in tune with the rhythm and peculiarities of the English language first. But as a non-native speaker, having my drafts read was an intimidating experience … luckily enough I’m not gifted with a high sense of competition while sharing means a lot to me! So shame never found me too much blushing!  (But I’m aware some poems showed flaws or their content sometimes was shallow … ) And I planned to "answer" other poet's poems ... but it rarely happened because I might be a too spontaneous kind of writer unless I'm too much an ego-centered person ... who knows ....!

I would have loved to make comments and spend more time on each posted poem. This was the main frustration I must confess… sometimes I just skipped through and scrolled down when more attention and more time would have been necessary in order to make substantial remarks and observation. In this regard, Project 52 seems to be a more reasonable and a more doable one in terms of going deeper into analysis. Some works left me speechless and though, if I have had more time, I would have loved to come back to them and words eventually would have ended up in my mind that I would have shared… feelings are strange flows and to catch them demands some patience … it’s like hunting! Sometimes I also would have loved to find and share poems I like, written by my “favorite poets” ( Frank Bidart, Alice Notley, and so many others) on topics tackled by the 366 Project members. Alas alas … but I don’t give up this idea since Project 52 will give us more time to react less superficially  

The funny thing is that after a little while, getting some kind of familiarity with many of the involved poet’s styles, I could tell without reading names, whose poem I was discovering, whose picture or painting I was watching.  

To make a long story short, the whole experience was just delightful and I’m very thankful, even feeling blessed to have been part of this adventure … so it was obvious to me that I would, should continue with the Project 52, I didn’t hesitated, not a single second!  

Again, thanks to everybody for having been such good companions during this 2016 ending year.  

Looking forward to experiencing Project 52 and I wish you all a happy New Year


1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your English and French versions! (Have just enough French to understand and know how that should sound).