“Stitching words and days
These verses alone trace the thread of the passionate, complex, inevitable relationship between the two protagonists sculpted by the author of “Ile n’était pas d’ici.” With poetry that sways to the rhythm of her loves and emotions, Barbara Keller takes flight and we soar with her words and images.
The first book by Barbara Keller, a collection of words and photos, is presented in an atypical, multi-dimensional manner. Romantic, sensual, spiritual, joyous, touching, occasionally sad and tormented, the text is that of a love story. The author’s words spiral along the pages, taking us to both sides of the Atlantic. “He,” an anonymous artist is originally from Antilles and lives in Paris. “She,” Barbara Keller, a photo-journalist and artist has lived in Guadeloupe for 25 years, but grew up on the continent.
“Winters and falls string together,
Here, the sunsets accumulate,
The seasons pass under the bridges of Paris
Barges, cobblestones, and Les Tuileries
Let Notre Dame forgive me,
Here, the Creole Angelus is the crow of the cock”
In leafing through the pages for the first time, one might feel as if one is looking at a collection of poetry that can be read at random. Which may be the case. The aesthetics of the writing might well withstand that. However, you’d miss the “romance novel,” poetry written like prose, with a true beginning and an “almost” ending. “Almost,” as life goes on…
“Weave the minutes and the seconds together,
And watch the pattern emerge, no future, no past.”
Poem “Jusqu’à toi.”
When starting to read, as the pattern emerges the book becomes a page turner, like a soap opera. The story of an “extra-ordinary” love affair, defying time and space, taking the risk of being wounded… without ever really being hurt.
“A touch of sorrow as new mornings rise
The season of mangoes that burst on the ground
Revealing their entrails to the open air”
One of those love stories that transcend the sense of time and place, that live forever in our memories. Adam and Eve, Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliette… all intertwined. Love that is possible but impossible. Love that is allowed but forbidden. Love that runs smooth but with chagrin. Carnal love that is platonic due to the distance imposed upon the bodies. Barbara Keller relates the passion of a soul sister and transmits that which nourishes her passion for Guadeloupe as well. The island that one day welcomed her, and which she has embraced.
“Karukera my mother
A solitary earthen Negress,
And my heart like a crater
Bleeds black sand”
The island is a protagonist in its own right: exile, identity, history…it carries with it universal themes to which the author is sensitive, and which she looks upon reflectively. From architecture to the seasons that wither, Paris is depicted with all its contrasts, but also how it inspires romantic lovers: contagious melancholy, a deadly grayness, but also fervor and splendor… We follow the relationship over the years, through the prism of Guadeloupe and that of France, through the ages and seasons that Barbara Keller describes with the precision of a brush, almost more than that of a pen.
This book stirs the senses: through its metaphorical phrasing and the photographs taken by the author herself: hearing through the sonorities orchestrated by the way the words flow. The most perceptive readers will feel every touch, every frisson, and the many nuances of emotion shared by Barbara Keller.
“In a gentle breeze by the shore,
With the soft flow of the waves, all of our images return,
A new era in time
At the dawn of the prophesies
Catharsis infused with silence”
The story thus concludes, like a wave that returns to the sea after having caressed—or battered—the shore, carrying the sand in its wake, and leaving behind it an ephemeral calm.
Auteur : Agnès Monlouis-Félicité
ÎLE N’ÉTAIT PAS D’ICI
A Collection Of Texts And Photographs
Editions Neg Mawon ~ 18€