MY LIFE TO LIVE
His sense of the world is as sound as his sense of detail, whether explicit or not. For him a plan is beautiful because it is sound, for most others a plan becomes sound by virtue of being beautiful.
(Jean-Luc Godard on the subject of Rossellini)
In My Life to Live, the poems are particularly lovely. There are discoveries that will greatly amuse those who manage to make them. Jan Baetens is a lively, intelligent poet, deep and buoyant, elegant but disconcerting, timeless and up to date, a modern poet, in short. And then, inevitably, I adore Anna Karina, as do you.
One might stop there, yes? Or, the truth must be told. And that truth is rather the opposite. In My Life to Live, the poems are often lame. Maybe the discoveries are amusing, maybe not, and anyway Baetens is keen to dispel any mystery; a Forward and a Final Note actually expose them in broad daylight. Is Baetens merely a poet? As for Karina...why bother building an altar devoted to her?
(Bread on the board, at last.)