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Culture

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Rienzi Crusz, là-bas aussi les nuits vibrent de vert

by Alain Freixe

Rienzi Crusz, Over There Too the Nights Are Vibrant With Green

Translated Sunday 9 March 2014, by Cynthia McKennon

L’Amour, là où les nuits sont vertes, (translated by Isabelle Métral), L’Amourier

The expression of the meandering course of his life, of its forkings, whether deliberate or enforced, the poems of Rienzi Crusz evoke the tribulations in the life of a poet born in Ceylon, who settled permanently in Canada.

Paul Éluard: “The way to change your hand is to put it in another.”

.Rienzi Crusz? The name will probably ring no bell, as this is the first of Rienzi Crusz’s books to be published in France, translated by Isabelle Métral from the English (Canada), whose vibrations she has captured and kept alive in our language. Rienzi Crusz was born in Galle in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1925. He settled in Canada in 1965 where he has lived ever since.

His poetry evokes the road (where the soul dwells, Deleuze would say, following Kerouac), of wandering, of tacking, of junctions where one stops to inhale the scents and bathe one’s sight in the colours far ahead, when comes “the hour of the unexpected”, when “the Divine (takes) flesh”, “plays the extravagant moods of men, the farrago of a world/ like a new symphony” and beckons to “the immigrant land/with no contrary season,” “the green land.” Where the nights are green, there lies love, about which Rimbaud, who had dreamed of “(les) nuits vertes aux neiges éblouies" (green nights and their dazzled snows), said that it (was) "to be re-invented.”

Photo: Michael Crusz

And oh! that sovereign green! How it radiates all through the poems in this collection! Green as was – already - Baudelaire’s “paradis des amours enfantines” (paradise of children’s love) – remember those “violons vibrant derrière les collines” (those violins vibrating beyond the hills)? There were violins like these in the Ceylon of Rienzi Crusz’ childhood. Their vibrations green-washed those fragments of the landscape, those childhood nooks, and gestures that haunt the poems – testifying to that nocturnal passage, to the quarrying, the earth-moving and excavating that is truly the poet’s work when writing gropes and feels for the open air.

And this, indeed, you will breathe in L’amour, là où les nuits sont vertes: it floats and blows around in Riensi Crusz’ poems, between his lines.


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