Although he wrote with the disclosing regularity of a diarist, he insisted, 'One must learn to speak above oneself in the same way you can help someone climb over a wall. But Jourdan's notes constitute much more than a literary oeuvre of remarkable deftness: they trace his evolution toward a state of secular grace.
This is the testament of a self-effacing saint with no need of a church, who consistently keeps his foibles on display with humble, resolute honesty. Whether he is observing the behavior of animals, communing with the plants in his beloved garden, or pursuing his workaday existence in a transport company, he never fails to probe the essence of things, profoundly and unobtrusively. The Approach , composed in his last few months, as he traversed the painful wasteland of medical treatments, grants us a luminous vision of the astounding power of joy, a joy that does not shrink from the minutae of suffering, decline, and death.
Despite his obvious links to Eastern doctrines of detachment, even in extremis he retains a sensuous delight in light-washed landscapes, the humming of bees, the small firework of a flower, and every 'unexpected magnitude' revealed by the everyday world. It is easy to see why such celebrated poets as Yves Bonnefoy and Philippe Jaccottet have long admired Jourdan's rapt and courageous prose, which teaches us to die because it teaches us to live. We cannot thank John Taylor enough for bringing this unjustly neglected author to the attention of the English-speaking public in his sensitive translation: at every turn, he renders Jourdan's extraordinary range of tone and diction with flawless skill.
And, Nonetheless by Jaccottet and The Straw Sandals by Jourdan were published in and include selected prose and poetry, with introductions by the translator. It is a poetry born out of the desire to cross the line between nature and the invisible beyond it; it is a poetry both thought and felt.
Selections from The Straw Sandals. Chants d'oiseaux invisibles. Seules voix pures.
Invisible birds chirping. The only pure voices. Perhaps because birdsongs are like flames in the air that burn up completely. As for birds themselves, they are doomed in this crowded world. One of my dreams: that birds be the ones who greet me.
Poemes Barbares (Collection Pobesie) (English and French Edition) | eBay
That this be my final sight. Alors tu l'as reconnu. You were led like a blind man near this landscape.
And you recognized it. Le berger dort dans ta pointrine.
ANTHOLOGIE DE LA POESIE DE LANGUE FRANCAISE
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