“God, the devil and humans”
With his second collection of poems, Mouftaou Badarou took up the challenge of stirring our conscience, prompting us to reflect on the unfathomable ways of the Lord and the omnipotence of the devil.
Classic poetry to brainstorm us. Structured in four sections, «Diableries», «Humanité», «Mélancolies», «Joyeusetés», Conversations avec le diable pose bien évidemment la problématique de la omnipotence du prince des ténèbres et de son emprise sur les humains, dans un défi fou lancé à Dieu. The author stigmatizes the fact that many humans succumb to the artifices of the devil, while everything is only illusion in this one. As the poem “God is Almighty but the devil is so evil” eloquently translated on page 33:
«God is Omnipotent but the Other is so clever/That fiery believers give way to his hold/Pitiful naive, everything is in the devil that illusion/He pushes, you his funambule puppets/Above a cliff of perdition/You letting go, hilarious, in full levitation!»
Thus, the first merit of this work is to offer us tools for reflection on the unfathomable ways of the Lord. God adjusts to humans the mechanisms of their righteousness which the devil tirelessly strives to undo. And the devils of the devil obviously have no control over the author. Nowhere in his work is there any question of denying his Faith or God. No matter what an atheist thinks, God is God, the merciful All who protects every believer with a strengthened faith. As the author says so well in the poem “Temptation” on page 44:
A night when I prayed to God/On my knees, hands stretched out to the heavens/The devil in his honeyed tone/Bewitching, irreverent/Uttered a whole flowering of blasphemy/But weary of his abject carousel/With my feet joined in his trap/I told him with a firm tone: Shorten/ Thou shalt not have me, God protect me!”
The interest of this book comes not only from the section «Diableries». The other three chapters, namely «Humanity», Melancholy» and «Joys» explore very well the complexity of the human soul: theft, adultery, ingratitude, greed, vanity, etc. If these poems, stigmatizing the darkness of the soul, are sharper than daggers, the sublimation and exaltation of love are never far away. As in the poem “To my Muse” on page 9, a piece of remarkable fluidity and poetic charge:
“O my muse, you have pierced my heart/It is so wide and deep the notch/It harbours a pernicious tumor.”
The author even manages, through alliances of words and rhymes, to magnify the nature created by God, as in the evocation of a magical landscape on page 130, in the poem “The wind made love with the sand”:
“The grains of sand had sighs of ease/Under the burning caresses of the wind/And this incandescent coupling/And these waves licking the cliff/Seemed to compliment in unison/For its magnificence, nature.”
Although all these poems are original, many reflect the fluidity and musicality of Paul Verlaine, whose author was visibly inspired, and to whom he dedicated the poem “What is this strange world” on page 126:
“I have sought so much to give/From my heart to a Madonna/She did not find it good/I have often helped/To others, without discernment/But no thanks.”
The Quebec poet Émile Nelligan, the Negritude singer Aimé Césaire and the incomparable Charles Baudelaire also have a part in the poetic formation of Mouftaou Badarou. The author probably holds from Baudelaire the taste of impeccable form and the necessity of technical work. Some poems thus indicate the constant effort of Mouftaou Badarou to get closer to the poetic mastery of his inspirators. As in the poem “My Two Books” on page 73:
“I have in my office two precious books/One from Verlaine and the other from Césaire/Two rarities that I drag around everywhere/And that make me look like an antique dealer.”
Let’s bet that Conversations avec le diable will make a date, so much the title is catchy and the verses remarkably chiseled, juggling between the real lived by the author and his poetic imaginary; so much this work restores moments of life (love) of the author, and his cruel sketches of the society around him. Mouftaou Badarou lets his emotional fragility appear here, while attacking the darkness of the human soul. Unfortunately, the author poses himself! too often as a victim, barely recognizing his own turpitudes.
Conversations with the Devil, ed. Licht, December 2021, 154 pages.
Available on Amazon, fnac.com, editionslicht.com and on order in all bookstores affiliated to the Dilicom network.