Today I’d like to welcome poet Cendrine Marrouat to Reviews and Interviews.
Born in France, Cendrine is a poet, published author, spoken word artist, translator, and aspiring photographer residing in Canada. She writes for Examiner.com, WAGTi Radio, and WAGTi Media Group. Before Five Years and Counting, she published four other poetry collections and authored a spoken word album. She is currently working on a second CD. Cendrine is the founder of www.soulpoetrysite.com and www.creativeramblings.com. She has a deep passion for educating and inspiring her fellow human beings.
Please tell us about your newest release, a book of poetry titled Five Years and Counting: A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry.
Five Years and Counting is my fifth collection. It is a book about poetry as a reflection of the human mind and a testimony of the kind of growth anybody can experience if they understand that life is what they make of it. It may be painful at times, but overall, it is extremely beautiful.
At the beginning of this year, I decided to regroup five years of my poetry in one collection. I arranged the pieces according to what I believe are life’s most important stages: birth and childhood, teenage years, adulthood, and elevation. The last stage represents man’s understanding and realization of the ultimate fulfilment in life.
The book will be officially released in a few months. For more information, people can refer to the books’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/fiveyearsandcounting.
How do you select poems to be part of a collection?
I do not really select poems. I always start with a title. And as most of my pieces all fall into the same category, spirituality, they are usually relevant to the title and theme of the book. So it is really easy to incorporate them into any collection I want to write.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was only a year or two ago. Before that, a lot of people frowned and laughed and it bothered me. Then, I stopped paying attention. As a result, writing became a healthy and spiritual experience in the purest sense of the word.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Five years ago, when I started writing, my goal was just to share my poetry through my website (http://www.soulpoetrysite.com). However, a lot of readers encouraged me to make a book. Still, I was not really sure of what I wanted to do.
At the end of August 2005, my mother committed suicide. She had attempted to take her life several times already, so I had prepared myself for the worst. As a result, I was able to grieve in a very healthy way and also fast. Death became an important topic to me.
One night, I sat in front of my computer and started writing my first book: Short Poetry for Those Who Fear Death. I really wanted to use my experience to help people overcome the fear they have and offer a positive vision of what I believe is a logical continuation of life. After all, it is not because we do not know what happens in the hereafter that we can draw definite conclusions.
Did you learn anything from writing your current book? If so what was it?
The first part of Five Years and Counting is a translation of the French book that I published in 2006. Going through this particular process really forced me to think differently. The entire book helped me put things in perspective and dive back into questions left unanswered. So I can say that I learnt a lot about myself. I gained a better understanding of my role as a human being.
Do you have any advice for other poets?
A lot of people are “scared” of poetry because they were forced to study it in school. At that time, they did not have the choice to discover it on their own terms. So, poets must understand that their mission is to help readers to reconnect with poetry.
Poets should always pour their heart, mind, and soul into what they do. They must have their own voice and never copy or compare themselves with others. Also, they should always use tools such as dictionaries in order to check their typos, even if they only want to share on a blog or a website. Quality is a very important factor. And finally, the language they use should be accessible so that readers can relate to the message.
In my career, I have heard many poets complain that they are tired of not being taken seriously. I actually did my share until I understood Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Too many poets have not done enough research or taken the time to find effective ways to promote themselves. It is very easy to write and publish a book nowadays. Marketing it is quite another matter. Basically, it all boils down to hard (and smart) work, patience, positivism, and a professional attitude.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am a very slow writer. It takes me weeks and sometimes months to pen anything. And I cannot start a poem without a title.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
The other day, I was telling a friend that I have been living the life of which I dreamed as a child. I remember wanting to be many things when I was little. I wanted to change lives. And I believe that it is exactly what I do now.
Cendrine, thank you for visiting Reviews and Interviews. I definitely fall into the category of being afraid of poetry – forced to read and discuss in high school and college. I have written a bit of my own, and enjoy find poets whose prose strikes me.