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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Janie Bogart’s Paradoxe

Reviewed by Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Renowned poet Jeanie Bogart is back with a more sensual but yet thought-provoking collection of poetry. Through her carefully crafted words, as usual, the poet takes her readers on a dazzling ride down to her romantic garden filled with exotic and sentimental prose designed with meticulous utterances. When it comes to Jeanie, it is always this furtherance of love, this unfading and vibrant continuum that has long turned Jeanie Bogart into a household name in the world of poetry.

In contrast to her previous collections, this one is exclusively francophone. However, like her previous works, one notices at first glance an acute and an inescapable finesse right from the get-go that never ceases to shine. The reader gets the feeling that he is being put on the hook.

In her introductory lines, Janie uses what could easily be described as a poetic disclaimer. Just as passengers in a gleeful voyage, a reader would get the sense to be boarding a ship bound for a fantasizing, magical journey. J’ai au corps le plus diable des désirs, sur les lèvres un goût de sel, et dans les cheveux un soleil miroitant la mer tropicale…… Within me lies a mad desire, a taste of salt in my lips and through my hair the mirror reflection of the sunray piercing though the sea of the tropic. Here, Janie wants to affirm or reaffirm once more her unwavering solitude, nostalgic to her motherland. She takes consolation from the mere fact that through her veins and her fibers rest the charms, the exuberance and all the coquettishness that mark the character of a Creole queen.

On page 39 in La Solitude dans L’ Amour, Janie uses novelistic prose in free style to further the idea that loves is like a ship that, if misguided, can lead to dangerous destinations. But if directed in intertwined romance, it can surely take its passengers to the desired end.

This new collection is a MUST READ. It contains a variety of poems, but all are well written under the same themes: love, lust and passion. Janie’s love takes a nationalistic tone, when the solitude under which this collection is coiffed does not confine itself to going after or trying to secure her man. It also describes her unconditional love for the country that will forever occupy front and center of her life.  Understandably, Janie endorses famed Haitian poet Anthony Phelps, who once said, “Je suis un poète de l’exil, mais non un poète en exil.” (I am not a poet in exile, but a poet from the exile community.) I believe that Phelps has received such honor precisely for his well-known creolism, something Janie is strongly committed to.

Janie Bogart is an award-winning poet well versed in both Creole and French. In fact, it was her créativité Romanesque with profuse ornaments in Creole that catapulted her to the top-end of a poetry contest in Martinique few years ago. Back then, she was a frequent contributor to CSMS Magazine. One’s summer reading list may not be complete unless Paradoxe is included.

Note: This collection is available on Amazon.


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