You all may remember Joseph Cook author of Heartbreak.Rebirth.Evolution. Thanks to one quick tweet from Joseph (@InkDrop_Theory), I'm able to bring to you Cendrine Marrouat. Cedrine has dropped by to talk about her book Five Years and Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry. Many of you know that I rarely, well, actually I never read poetry unless it's given to me. But for those you read it regularly, enjoy the interview!
RHP: Your book, Five Years and Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry, arranges your pieces according to life’s most important stages: birth, teenage years, adulthood, and elevation. How did you come up with this idea? And why 5 years?
CM: Five Years and Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry had always been in the back of my mind. But the book really started to take shape in 2010.
That year marked my fifth anniversary as a poet. And I really wanted to celebrate this milestone. So, I decided to reread my poetry from 2005 to 2009.
I realized that my style had really changed. Some poems came from a place of pain, while others were more assertive, peaceful and mature. And, there were also the pieces where the quest for deep meaning was obvious.
After translating the poems from my French book (Sortons des chemins battus. Poésie de l'âme) into English, I started regrouping what I considered my best poetry into specific themes.The stages came naturally afterwards.
Five Years and Counting contains more than 160 poems that will lead you through the labyrinth of life. Human beings start with the primal cry -- the need to be heard. Then, they reach adolescence and look for independence. The adults they become find answers to most of their questions and start learning how to cope with the pain of losing. Elevation occurs when we are no longer afraid of experiencing life beyond loss, and understand that there is beauty beyond death.
RHP: You describe the last stage, elevation, as representing man’s understanding and realization of the ultimate fulfillment in life. Have you reached the stage of elevation? If not, what does it take to get there?
CM: I do not really know if I have reached that stage. I still experience doubts and fears. However, I choose not to let them rule my life. I believe that elevation is within everybody's reach. It just takes two things: a healthy relationship with your inner child and a willingness to embrace whatever challenge comes your way.
RHP: This book of poetry sounds like a very personal collection. How do you decide what to share and what to withhold?
CM: I wrote Five Years and Counting with both myself and others in mind. It is a personal book because I am an artist; artists create art to fill a personal need -- they lie if they tell you otherwise. It is also a universal book because many of the pieces are really not about me. I use poetry to connect with the divine in all of us and deliver positive messages that demand of readers that they face their fears.
I have never had any problem with sharing my poetry, especially lately. I write more and more from a place of complete freedom.
RHP: What is your favorite poem from this book and why?
CM: My favorite poem is "I Write Your Name." It is very special for two reasons: It is my first piece and I wrote it for someone who taught me a lot about love and patience.
RHP: If we read your poems separate from one another, how would we be able to identify all of them as belonging to you?
CM: There are two things I like to use in my poetry: chorus-like verses and repetitions. I also have a marked preference for short forms, including haiku, senryu and tanka. Further, all my poems contain an element of positive spirituality.
Many readers tell me that my style bears a strong resemblance to Rumi's. I can neither agree nor disagree, as I have never read any poem from him.
RHP: Who are a few of your favorite poets and what do you like about them?
CM: I will just mention two: Khalil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine. Their poetry is so spiritual that you can almost feel their words caress your mind. And their style is inimitable.
RHP: What is your creative process for writing your poetry? Do the poems just come to you or do you sit down and think about them?
CM: These days, I would say that my creative process is all over the place.
Usually, the only thing that I need to start writing is a title. Then, I go with the flow -- but I always have a dictionary next to me.
For the last couple of years, the ideas for most of my poems have come to me in the shower or while I am driving. Go figure!
RHP: I hate when that happens! I’ve lost a few ideas that way!
RHP: What else would you like for us to know about you here at Reading Has Purpose?
CM: First of all, thank you very much for featuring me on your blog. I enjoyed answering your questions. I would like to share a short poem from Five Years and Counting.
WHERE THE HEART GOES
Piercing through man’s stains,
A ray of hope shines up high.
They stand and ogle;
They listen and do not hear...
But His guiding hand
Strokes and soothes fear and gloom.
Sister Moonshine smiles
And Glory opens her arms
Wide to welcome you.
Where the heart goes matters not.
You need to let it wander.
For the soul needs space.
Where the heart goes matters not.
Five Years and Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry is available for purchase at www.fiveyearsandcounting.com, Amazon (book and eBook), Barnes & Noble NOOK Bookstore, and Lulu (book and eBook).
Poetry is only one of my many hats. I am also a freelance journalist, reviewer and blogger with a strong interest in social media.
If you are a fan of poetry, in addition to Joseph, JoVonna Rodriguez has shared her work with us as well.