Lindsey Collen, LALIT member, was at the “Kabar Liv Kreolite”, a celebration of books in Kreol in Le Port, in French colony, Reunion Island, at the end of September, 2014. The organizers, Lofis Lo Lang Kreol, invited writers and academics from all over the Creole-speaking world to what was a richly varied book fair, a series of creative cultural events, and the sharing of views and ideas on the Creole languages in a number of round tables and talks. The association relied for its organization on the voluntary work of members, who come together in order to promote the Reunion Kreol language. The “Kabar” opened Reunion Creole to the world of all Creole languages.
Lindsey Collen read two poems in Mauritian Kreol at the opening ceremony, with the backdrop of Picasso’s Guernica painting, the trenchant critique of aerial bombing by Hitler of Republican town, Guernica, Spain in 1937, projected on to a screen. The poems are “found poems” constructed from the comments, verbatim, of adult literacy students as they confront the painting for the first time. Their own words are usually used as “texts” for literacy sessions. But Lindsey Collen found the reactions of adult students to the mural so stunning that she made a poem each from two groups’ comments. Some 20 women in the Thursday literacy class, and then some 30 men in the Mahebourg fisher’s group. She dedicated the reading of them to the people of Palestine whose struggle against military occupation continues, as the people of Gaza have recently faced aerial boming, over 60 years after the original aerial bombing. (See end of article for two poems.)
Lindsey Collen also spoke at the Round Table presided by Daniel Laurent, who wrote the best book imaginable on the harm done to children because of the suppression of their mother tongues in school. Other speakers were Dev Virahsawmy (Mauritius), Max Rippon (Guadeloupe), Daniel Honoré (Reunion). The four speakers gave sensitive autobiographical insights into their living of the topic “The challenge of writing in Creole”, rather than dry academic accounts. There was a lively session of questions-and-answers, afterwards.
Kur Literesi Fam Zedi get “Guernica” par Picasso
Kont Bombardman Popilasyon Sivil
ena enn lager
ena dimunn inn tonbe
dimunn ki anba la
so lizye inn perdi dan so latet
tann enn kriye
enn siklonn pe pase
seval, ondire pe tortir li,
tu dan nwar
vas la so lizye drol, li dub-fas, profil ek portre, kifer?
‘U finn swazir sa tablo la expre, non?
Akoz bombardman Gaza?’
ena enn ti veyez
e tu dan nwar
mama la pe kriye,
li’nn fini mor
lake bef turn an lafime
enn bom inn tonbe
tu kiksoz pe derul dan nwar,
resanti enn tristes
Picasso, kan li pe penn sa,
li pe sagrin,
li pe montre nu nu dan nwar,
mem lalimyer pa pe kapav ekler nu
telman nu dan nwar
Enn poem dekuver par Lindsey Collen
dan Kur Literesi, No, I
Grup Peser Maybur Vizyonn “Guernica”
Enn katastrof.Latristes. Buku trist.
Dimunn pena kontrol.
Fer sagren, trakase.
Fer nu per.
Enn lafreyer.Kapav plore.
Lekor dimunn pe transe, ena disan pe verse, kriyote.
Blan lor nwar, dub fas, bann figir bizar,
Desin la, li inpe diforme,
Bizar, form ki pa existe, form inkoni, diforme.
Pe sufer buku.
Tandans kuler nwar blan.
Inpe ble pal.
Pena zonn, pena ver, pena ruz, pena zonn, pena ver.
Sa nwar la enn zar disan, enn kuler fer per.
Dimunn paret fatige, kumans kurbe.
Ena zanfan inn mor.
Ena pe galupe.
Enn pe kriye, lebra dan ler,
Pe inplor lape,
Lake bef pe pran dife.
Suval pe kriye.
Suval pe trene, pe ranpe.
Suval pe rod so met, li’nn tonbe.
Ena dominer lor seki pli feb.
Bannla pe rod sekur, seki inn tonbe pe rod dilo.
E pa kone sipa
Bann la pu gayn led ar lezot?
Ziska seval pe dir, ‘Arete lager!’
Li trist, buku trist.
Enn gran dezord ladan e zot tu pe sufer lager
Lizye lor lemond,
Glob sa, glob ki pa pe kapav donn lekleraz.
Manyer pei pe derule,
Pa kone dime ki pu arive.
Enn poem dekuver par Lindsey Collen
dan Kur Literesi, No.II