I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that’s not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity.
Beauty is first and foremost an emotion.
I don’t feel guilty about expressing myself in French; nor do I feel that I am continuing the work of the colonizers.
In the ’70s I was in exile; every time I went back I wondered if they’d take my passport away.
At 21, I discovered repression and injustice. The army would shoot students with real bullets.
Be vigilant, for nothing one achieves lasts forever.
There are clear cases in which ‘understanding’ literally applies and clear cases in which it does not apply; and these two sorts of cases are all I need for this argument.
Emigration is no longer a solution; it’s a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they’re knocking on doors that are not open.
Poetry is a form of mathematics, a highly rigorous relationship with words.
The mistake we make is to attribute to religions the errors and fanaticism of human beings.