Gilles Dossou-Gouin has published a new collection of poems, Dans cet Archipel, ruisseau nouveau de la Francophonie. Dossou-Gouin is interested in Francophone culture and the issues of globalization related to this culture. He holds that culture creates a space to live in, in the French language, which is shared by all generations, young and old alike. In his latest poetry book, he explores this space, providing examples of the links existing between language, identity, culture and immigration between minorities. This was an interesting challenge for the poet, as it challenges the culture of St Pierre-&-Miquelon, Canadian culture, contributing vitality and a new source of diversity.
Dossou-Gouin is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s notion that “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth”. He points out that, ironically, sometimes what is most successful in a poem is its lack of conclusion. Thereby its searching, its absolute focus—its detail—can become its only outcome. Quoting Simone Wiel; “Absolute unmixed attention is prayer”.
In each of the poems compiled in this collection, the human being engages in a vertical address. Each poem is an utterance. Perhaps most importantly, these poems enable the exploration of human boundaries. Is it that poetry can transport the human being safely unto death, without end in the Francophone culture? Dossou-Gouin does not seek to answer these questions, so much as to identify connections; leverage possibilities. It is these moments of attentive reflection, that makes each of these poems similar in their vertical approach.
Says Dossou-Gouin: “Conscious of natural imagery and textured language, the poet is in search of the unattainable. What we can do is be willing to see what we do, what we are, where we are, what is around us, and to stake a claim in the marriage of artistic craft to that unflinching and steadfast looking”.
Dans cet Archipel, ruisseau nouveau de la Francophonie, is available in Canada through publisher Les carnets de Dame Plume.