Laurie asks Pierre about his youth as a poet
The next morning, after Mary had gone up to bring them breakfast, excuse that she had found herself to discuss with this Laurie whom she considered somewhat like her daughter but with whom she could afford the freedom of exchange she would not have allowed herself with her own daughter, Laurie began her real work of investigation on Pierre.
She set up her high school and student office in front of the bed and Pierre, lying on the bed, had to answer all her questions.
How did Peter discover himself as a poet in his youth?
Laurie noted that her patient from the age of 4-5 had had insomnia which soon degenerated into sleepwalking. Pierre explained that, in fact, at night in his sleep, he was awakened by presences that sought to invest his mind. These presences were not pacifist.
Today Peter leaned to say that these were spirits who had not found eternal rest and who already knew that he was capable of coming into contact with his soul and with the divine presence that lives in him. To be completely complete and not hide anything from his therapist, the poet mentioned the very frequent observations in France of UFO around 1954. Concordant but secret reports exist on this point. Was it related to this alien environment? Was any of these alien presences particularly interested in him?
Laurie cut short the poet’s words to tell him to get serious again, but she admitted that all this was questionable. It does not prevent: his mind was awakened at night by unusual presences that stirred his brain. Pierre, tired of these sleepless nights, kept praying to his guardian angel before falling asleep. A holy image of a guardian angel protecting a child on the edge of a precipice was also above his small bed. From that moment on, he did not wake up at night, but in the morning he and his parents had to find that he was lying on the floor in another part of the room. However, he did not remember anything and was no longer tired from a rough night.
In the long run, Peter found himself vexed at not knowing now what was happening at night in his mind. He had understood that the guardian angel had nothing to do with it, but it could not continue like this! Peter had to take his own destiny into his own hands and clean his own head. At the same time, his parents sent him to consult a specialist doctor in Strasbourg and, faced with the questions of this wise old man, Pierre still remembered today, he had looked with pity at this doctor who was completely beside the point and very unable to understand this struggle between the minds that he, a little boy, knew better and better! Well, he had drunk liters and liters of Atarax prescribed by that doctor, but that syrup had no use!
Visualization of the presences around the young poet
Before he fell asleep, Peter now talked with evil spirits and with his guardian angel and he managed to visualize them all.
These tormented spirits were among the last victims of the Second World War not to have found the ways of heaven and their eternity. They were poor victims who had been totally abandoned, but who, because they had been in contact with the region where he lived, sought help from the living of that region.
Peter knew then that he had to pray to his guardian angel that he might help them. What he did and Peter was delivered from his sleepwalking.
He was about 7 years old and when shortly after he made his first communion, he smiled before the priest of his village who was benevolent, certified to him that now he had just entered the church of God. This brave parish priest was unable to understand the delay of his words in relation to the already accumulated experience of the young poet on spiritual and supernatural questions!
If Laurie wanted hard evidence, she could search the Social Security archives for all of the prescriptions Atarax had during his childhood… He confessed to the psychologist that it was from this period that his pronounced taste for history and geography was born, for he sought to know the events and places that had made the spirits he had just met and helped so miserable.
Writing the first poem
But once he was cured, how did Peter at age 11 begin to write his first poem?
And by the way, this poem indicated as the first of the author in the first collection published in Paris, is it the first? Laurie, from memory, analyzed it.
Certainly, faced with this desire to reject the laborious framework of this life in favor of another life known previously, which may be an existence before birth of which the author would always be aware, but also quite simply an earlier life which may be the happy childhood he has just lived in his village and which he must give up in order to pursue studies and prepare himself to work, Laurie lives to deaf a fundamental question about the reasons for living. She agreed.
In this poem, there is already this unease of the child poet who will refuse throughout most of his childhood texts, to capitulate to the social demands to prefer them another world, another hope, another reality seemingly alone perceptible by a poet.
But how did he write this poem and why not put it first in his collection?
Pierre said that in the evening, during his first year of internship in a religious institution, he began to keep a diary, precisely to probe a little more this malaise between a childhood finally pacified and happy now that he had settled the fate of these tormented spirits and all the problematic perspectives that adult society presented to him.
These hours of study in the evening, in the human warmth of the hundred boys, all classes combined from eighth to third, gathered in the same large room, allowed Peter to resume a work on himself as had been the case, four-five years earlier, when in his bed, before falling asleep, he talked with the spirits and his guardian angel. But this time, the work was done in writing.
One evening, he was surprised to feel in him a large and powerful volume of ideas invading his mind. When he gave all the space in his mind to this imposing presence, he felt the rhythm that pulsed this presence and on this rhythm, he wrote with one stroke the verses of this first poem.
He understood that this text only expressed weakly what he had felt in his mind. All this imposing presence could not come for such a weak message. So the young poet continued his work to find the rhythm and musicality of this presence. There were other poems until the evening, still in this study, where suddenly Pierre felt that he had just found a more powerful musicality and through it, for the first time, the spirit source of this musicality.
Then the young poet wrote twenty verses in a single line and without erasures as always, but when he began towards the eighteenth verse and up to the twentieth verse, to want to describe this spirit, Peter realized on the one hand that his spirit was almost emptied of all energy after this writing and that on the other hand, the spirit demanded a work of consciousness and of visualization far too deep for the immaturity of the young novice poet.
At the end of the twentieth verse, the poem completed in its literary form, the poet could no longer control the presence that had invaded his mind.
Faced with the break in contact caused by his inexperience, Pierre confided to Laurie that he experienced a brutal and lightning tear, even more damaging because his mind was emptied of all human force. The tear was of unheard-of strength and never again was a pain more unbearable for him than that, even a seizure of nephretic colic does not hurt as much. It was the absolute night, its existence was disconnected from its vital energy.
The poet acknowledged that this indelible moment remains in his life as the most painful he has ever lived. To feel violently rejected from this higher world over which we have no control is to become aware of being driven by his fault from paradise, of being condemned to living within the narrow confines of this dull and monotonous earthly life.
The presence evacuated upward to come out of his mind. It was then that Pierre found himself at the bottom of the study. He saw perfectly the smallest details, all those backs turned on their desks, the platform of the father who watched the study and continued his reading. Peter wondered what he was doing there and the memory of the tear was made and he understood. He saw that his body must have been there in that row. Yes, it was the student in the back of his row who was in front of him and he could touch.
So he walked up the row, the students couldn’t see him, and even today, he remembered that he had glanced to see what everyone was doing. At last, he came in his place. He saw his body bent over the desk. That was him! Then freed from this heavy burden, he expressed the desire to resume the normal course of his human existence and returned to his body.
It was enough for him to express this will for it to be realized. He took his body out of his torpor, turned around to check that the students behind him in his row were fine as he had just seen them. Everything matched.
Only then did the poet realize that he had just experienced not a visualization but a decoration.
Pierre confessed that he had difficulty overcoming the fear that had resulted from this dramatic experience. He had not seen or felt the presence of his guardian angel. He had been alone in the face of the formidable presence in power. But there is a lesson here: he had solicited contact with the presence that was coming into him and it had manifested itself. Then, after his departure, another presence could calmly, wisely guide his mind to bring him back into his body. It was not his guardian angel or a spirit that had helped him, but a presence that was infallible in him and had nothing to do with others.
The young poet seeks to pose his dialog from the soul to the soul.
The young poet realized that his poetic research could not be limited to a dialog of his mind with his source and besides which of the two?
No, the path was not the one he had imagined, which he had been able to read in other poets and writers. In order to master the power that had submerged his mind to the point of tearing it out of his body, the poet had to seek to better know this supernatural presence that is permanently attached to his life. Because this one is of the same nature as the other that had left, a dialog between them could be established more calmly, with less painful tears.
The only solution is the dialog of the soul remaining in us with the generic soul, the source soul residing in a higher universe. But now that he knew the phenomenal power of this source, he would be much better prepared to receive it.
Laurie understood why Pierre had wanted this text to serve as an introduction to this first collection of poetry. She remembered Rimbaud’s desire to destroy his first poems now that he had become a clairvoyant. Why did Peter not also destroy his first poems, since they are unable to trace the lived poetic experience?
The poet threw a wrathful look at the psychologist who only annoyed him. Why? Because it was obvious that the poet in his search for his source, by the words that escaped from his lips, by his meditations or his daydreams, had a way of living and thinking that could only surprise his entourage, especially if he took it upon himself to justify his words in long diatribes!
Because in the sixth grade, everyone in the boarding school nicknamed him after the joke found by the French teacher: the happy idiot! And it wasn’t just limited to this kind of behavior. One day, it was necessary to show this entourage that he was capable of things that others could not do.
Yes, if he had to justify himself in the last place, he could demonstrate that he was a poet… by then publishing his poems, any poem, especially those where no one would find anything to understand from this magnificent experience still unfinished! It was better than not being able to respond to this unspeakable hostile pressure of a stupid insensitive entourage just to the dialog of the soul and the spirit! Not to mention the dialog of the soul for the soul!
And then a little bit later, there was the question of how do you tell the girl you love and want to live with that you’re a poet and that just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re going to stop making your life the size of poetry.
Every day we are brought to update our reasons for living and our reasons for dying!
Marriage does not relieve a poet of this work that has belonged to him since his birth and today there is no longer any reason for a young poet to refuse to marry!
So, to present himself as a poet, Pierre found it easier, after a while, to give one of the copies of his first collection to Françoise. If, after reading it, she was ready to return to him to continue loving him, then the game would be won. Françoise could only then commit herself to respecting the poetic work of her husband even if this work led him one day to know the tragic fate of certain poets whom the powerful could no longer bear and made die to silence them.
These reasons to keep the poems of her youth are therefore based on an overt pragmatism, a ready-made excuse, but could Laurie be angry with her?
Be wise, my pain
Laurie was satisfied with these initial answers. She stopped her interrogation and agreed with her lover poet that he would resume the next morning and the following mornings, until the subject was exhausted! Pierre accepted the principle, but before Laurie dressed, he wanted to punctuate his words and finish them by singing a poem by Charles Baudelaire in direct connection with this pain resulting from this tearing that poets know in their relations with their source.
He sang the poem “Collection”: “be wise, oh my pain, and keep you more quiet” and he put all his energy into translating the dismay, the supplication, the confidence, the revolt and finally the appeasement when, like a long shroud dragging to the east, the poet hears with his dear pain, the sweet night that walks. Laurie listened to the poet tear his voice when he sang “my pain… come here… away from them”!
The muse and her poet
Laurie appreciated that her lover thus showed himself before her, tormented, fragile, subjected to this pain of exile from the supernatural world, condemned to wait until night, the only remedy to overcome his creative and protesting energy and finally give him peace when he dressed in his shroud to sleep on this earth as the sleeping man of the celestial world.
Laurie was satisfied that the young poet, dismayed by this painful first ordeal, could find in the reading of the other poets material to understand his situation and heal his wounds. This melody that Pierre had found to take up Baudelaire’s experience in this field was indeed the remedy that enabled him to continue his poetic experience and Laurie, in herself, found that this way of singing the text was a much more significant and beautiful illustration of poetry than what Pierre had been able to say about Rimbaud during his lecture.
Yes, it is thus on this bed, badly dressed, half-naked, with a pendulous and tormented air, that she preferred him when he began to sing the poetry, that of the others inseparable from his and Laurie began to imagine that she was not only the muse of this poet but the muse of many other poets.
Sitting on the bed next to Peter, she imagined herself and looked for whom she could also relate to. She wouldn’t be Juliette or Yseult but maybe Laure! Yes, the beautiful Avignon loved by Petrarch, this muse who through the love poetry of his lover had already managed to live with him on earth those moments of the other life in which the fusion of the soul welds the spirits and personalities in a blessed osmosis. Laurie felt that she was on the eve of this fusion and it filled her with a lively and pleasant warmth.
Read the episode of the novel from which is extracted the story of the young poet’s first decorations at the age of twelve.
read episode 21 of the novel that contains this excerpt