« August 2019 »

Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music and Silence

Update as of February 8, 2019

At the Festival Sakura Meguro International Haiku Circle in Tokyo (from 1st to 6th of April 2019), Janick delivers a presentation, on April 5th at 15 h 00.

A scoop: Janick's Foreword. Please, read below.

Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music, and Silence
© Janick Belleau, 2018 – Greater Montreal Area, Canada

Translation from French to English, except for the poems: Jo-Anne Elder
Translation from French to Japanese: Keiko Tajima-Rossignol


My talk today is a tribute not only to the Gaze but also to Music and ultimately to Silence. My inspiration for these three themes comes from three Québec women poets – Anne-Marie Labelle for the gaze, Diane Descôteaux for music, and Luce Pelletier for silence. These three writers work mostly in haiku, although they also make forays into other Japanese forms.

Because haikus are a poetic form that lends itself particularly well to this exercise, I want to share my own interpretation of several of the haikus I’ve selected here. My reading of these poems may be out in left field; I take full ownership of my insights or mistakes. The writers retain full ownership of their work and their intentions.

Before I start, I should say that I used only one reference to develop my talk: Christine Dupouy’s La Question du lieu en poésie (Place in Poetry) focusing on her chapter entitled “Entre regard et chant” (Between the Gaze and the Song).

Let’s jump in to make the best use possible of the short time we have.

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Books that I have authored ou co-authored or those for which I have assumed the direction of the collective or been part of a collective of less than 10 authors.

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Free reading but the reproduction...

All texts* on this Web site, signed by Janick Belleau, are available to Internauts... as long as, in all reproduction, written or verbal, the name of the author and the source are quoted.

* The word "texts" comprises feature articles, reviews, interviews, presentations, poems, prose, etc.

Note written on November 8, 2016 but applicable for all texts.

Women of influence

Toscana, a private garden

feature articles … by their books

1986. Winter. Contemporary Verse 2, Winnipeg

Direction by Jan Horner. Communication by JB: Women Writers’ Contribution to Language.

Abstract: Gertrude Stein, Marguerite Duras, Denise Boucher, Nicole Brossard have adapted the language to their Being or have defined and polished a language which is their own. Re/claim the language.

Translation from French by Adena Franz.

1983. August. HERizons Magazine, Winnipeg

Remarks collected at the time of the Conference Les femmes et les mots / Women and Words held on the campus of University of British Columbia (UBC) in July. Selected excerpts of French presentations by three lecturers: Louky Bersianik (Written in the feminine), Nicole Brossard (The lesbian writing) and Louise Cotnoir (The writing of women). Read complete article on the French side of this website.

The same issue also features two articles in English: Adena Franz, A new writing of body ; Debbie Holmberg-Schwartz, Giving birth to creativity

feature articles … by their words – interviews granted to me while studying, as a adult, at the University of Ottawa:

1979. A Quebec lesbian writer, Jeanne d­'Arc Jutras

1978. A French feminist writer, Marie Cardinal

1978. A professor of Religious Sciences, Elisabeth Lacelle

1978. A professor of XVIIIth century French Literature, Marie-Laure Swiderski

1977. A professor of Philosophy, Naomi Scheman