These gifted young poets who chain rhymes and unleash passions

Amanda Gorman during the recitation of her poem at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. (Washington, January 20, 2021) Getty Images

We thought he was overwhelmed. And now the poem becomes the new mantra of a young generation confronted with the din of the world. Amanda Gorman, Cécile Coulon, Rupi Kaur… With their punchlines that recount the era, these poetesses unleash the passion of an audience in search of meaning.

Each poem is barely a minute long. Fred declaims: “My old obsession and my new fervor, you quiver in me for a new desire…” Lara reads with a singsong accent: “A soul exposed to the sun very close to the threatening sea…” Jean asks: “Is it true that in a place beyond death someone loves us and awaits us just as we are…” Pure Houellebecq. Filmed in their bedroom, on their sofa or on a beach, a group of friends recites poems by Michel Houellebecq.

Grumpy old folks preferring the prose of the writer of ordinary suffering to prozac? No, young enthusiasts who find in “Michel” an antidote to gloom. On the initiative of this circle of reappearing poets: Victorien Bornéat, thirty-year-old Parisian and Houellebecquian who created the podcast Houellebecq Forever broadcasting the short readings of his friends. “In college, I was not a fan of poetry, but there, it was enough for me to read two verses to be floored…

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