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.
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.
I read a poem every night, as others read a prayer.