“Aletheia”, collection of poems by Georges de Rivas: A great poetry with a powerful incantatory effect | The Tunisian Press

Here is first, to give you a taste of this great poetry, some first verses opening the 3e song from this new collection of the wide-ranging French poet, Georges de Rivas. Luminous verses which undoubtedly reveal to us his dermal, visceral and deeply lyrical relationship to poetic creation which is for him what it was for its initiator. Orpheus, purifying and with a double magic and talismanic power that protects against the forces of evil, against pain and the abyss…

“I write here all my pain transformed into omens, in this song that came to my lips. I write with the pure soul of the child who merges with the breath and the heart and I let myself be carried along by the words that blow on the rigging of my soul a music that comes to me whistled by sylphs rigged by the wind -ocean (…) My feather is soaked in the mist that surrounds the ship where I capsize, o feather of a wandering bird in this storm that was my life, and my song is bathed in the tears that flood this world where the waters rise of the sea. Do not be hard on me, reader, my song was drawn from pain and from the abyss! (p.36)

From the startling title of this high-flying poetic collection, “Aletheia”, Georges de Rivas planted his banner as a lyric-epic poet, very marked by Orphism and Platonism, in the land of Greek mythology where the truth, that of the universe, that of being, that of love and death, is called, like these poems animated by an intense inner light, “Alethea” . Philosophical word which without this initial privative “a” (= “Without”) refers to the mythical river “Lethe” and its “forgetful waters” where the human soul, back on earth, after its stay in the Platonic world of “ideas “, bathes in it to no longer remember “true ideas” and adapt to the values ​​of the sensitive world. False world that the poet must purify, ennoble and make more authentic and sublime by virtue of this row of 7 songs, fabulous like the seven strings of the lyre that Apollo gave to Orpheus. Songs of variable dimensions and with vehement, incessant rhythms, and where Georges de Rivas who seems to know, as a true scholar, all the mysteries of language, lavishly mobilizes a rich and diversified lexicon, often borrowed from mythology as well as theology and to ancient rhetoric to celebrate, like weddings, the “Aletheia”. This enigmatic and inscrutable “Aletheia” which, the more we get carried away wonderfully by this irresistible verbal flood erasing the boundaries between poetry and prose, between the words of the language and music, and purposely sweeping away this strong pausal mark which is the period (the period at the end of the sentences and at the end of the verses), the more it turns out to be, beyond all the possible philosophical meanings that one apprehends or that one does not apprehend, beyond a deliberately vague thematic readability, even somewhat abstruse for the profane, a creature or a being of language as often ideas and themes in the great poets such Saint-John Perse who have understood that the only truth in poetry is words and their incantatory effect. Powerful effect, ecstatic effect, hypnotic effect, in favor of which Georges de Rivas carried, at its height, the lyrical expression, and this, by handling, like the magician, like the Aède, the language with a superb elegance, multiplying the exclamations and the oratory interrogations, playing continuously on its sound power, mobilizing all its musical resources: hypozeuxes ( parallelisms) insistent, multiple paronomases, and everywhere echoes and recurrences, cyclically iterated sounds, hammered, that is to say more precisely assonances, alliterations and homeotelutes. Because Georges de Rivas would be among those who rightly think that poetry was created to be sound, a form of music, “music above all else” (Verlaine).

Musicalized to the highest degree, the verses in this epic lyricism of Georges de Rivas animated by an almost poetic breath, an ecstasy (an exit from oneself) like no other, are long like periodic sentences, constructed according to a kind of system of twists which that they constantly rely on a verbal or sound element to bounce back, soar again into prostasis, reach a new acme, descend into apodosis and thus gain in length, musicality and bewitchment. The syntax is sometimes disarticulated, ordered differently, to serve the great harmony of the fiery rhythms of these “Rivassian” verses which from one song to another continue with equal happiness. Clear here are the influences that the poetry of Saint John Perse had on our poet who, like his immense predecessor, dreams big, dreams above the ghostly silhouettes of the threatening night and climbs to a summit rarely reached. in this celebratory poetry made, like that of Orpheus, to “charm the gods and mortals, tame wild animals and even move inanimate beings” (Petit Robert des Nomspropres). Let’s listen:

“And only Love will have opened to you the starry sanctuary of Revelation, here you are under its magnetizing charm, your soul assured of living eternally beyond the body and your heart is an altar of prayers from which rises the brilliance of the Rose, the oriflamme of the free kingdom of the Spirit conquered by your friend, the silence of the desert which gives you the oracular manna, the gold of holy language! Now, it’s a blue of the sky that turns to a storm on the obsidian-colored clouds and you no longer remember the antiphon that rocked you during your childhood of the song exhaled by a mother bent over like a fairy at the edge of your dream. And you go alone in search of this precious sleep watched over by the angels! (p. 51).

In this poetry rising to the dignity of great poetic texts and written with mastery by Georges de Rivas, there is, of course, as Patrick Quillier wrote in the afterword of this book, suffering and resilience in the face of time which passes and which leaves its scars in our bodies and our memories; (p. 96) there is also a dwelling of “pain as a holy joy” (Ibidem.), with that particular masochism which is that of ascetics and poets, but above all there is a painful enjoyment of this “gold of Holy language” (p. 51), of this poetic passionate speech, at high intensity, astonishing at the highest point and enchantress having already aroused, with merit, among critics and readers, all the praise. Well done poet!

Georges de Rivas, “Aletheia”, Saint-Chéron, Uniqueness Editions, September 2022, 100 pages, ISBN 978-2-37355-769-5.

George de Rivas is a French poet and essayist. He lives in Hyères. Inspired by epic lyricism and Orphism, he has published several books including: “Orpheus on the shore of Evros” “Le Petit-Véhicule”, “La Beauté Eurydice”, “Orpheus-Eurydice-Dialogue”, etc.). Special guest at the International Festival of Poetry “Letras en La Mar” in Puerto-Vallarta, Mexico, he received the Prize awarded by the “El Caracol de Plata” Festival in 2017. Since 2016, he organizes every year “The Spring of Poets” at the Château de Solliès-Pont ( Var ).

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“Aletheia”, collection of poems by Georges de Rivas: A great poetry with a powerful incantatory effect | The Tunisian Press

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