Inauguration of the Poetry Cocoon, Sunday 29 May 2022

Closing remarks by Marie Clark

When I was asked if I had an idea for a project that would bring the community of Sutton and Abercorn together, I spontaneously replied, "We could make a poetry tree!"

You should never ask a writer if she has any ideas.

I just threw the idea out, without thinking.  Ideas are like that, they spring up without you expecting them.  You always have to start by dreaming.  This idea appealed to the community organizations in the village; they asked me to put it down on paper, to develop it.

The poem tree quickly became a poetry cocoon when I fell under the spell of the cocoon designed by Paulette Vanier during a walk.  It was in the D'Arts et de rêves cultural park, as if it was waiting for us.

And here we are...

Carrying a project like this is like carrying a book.  It takes a long time to come into being.

It needs others to believe in it.  That others carry it with us.  A whole team behind me believed in it and carried it with me.  I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.

  • PATRICIA LEFEBVRE, Director of the Parc d'environnement naturel de Sutton (PENS) was enthusiastic from the start and generously shared her faithful coordinator.
  • DIANA MARTINEZ who assisted me in a calm, magical, and unfailing way throughout the whole project; she followed up with the participants, designed and distributed the posters, promoted the workshops, and monitored the budget.
  • NATHALIE DÉSILETS, ceramist from the Amaranthe workshop, who generously welcomed us into her workspace and made it possible for us to make and fire the poetic plates.
  • NATASHA EVOY and NICOLE CÔTÉ of D’Arts et de rêves, who welcomed the project into their beautiful park.
  • HUGO LÉVESQUE, community organizer for public health at CIUSSS de l'Estrie, instigator of this project and funder.
  • MARIE-CLAUDE PLASSE, cultural agent for the town of Sutton, for her thoroughness, dynamism, note-taking during meetings, reminders of everyone's tasks, promotion on the town's website.
  • PAULETTE VANIER, who created the beautiful cocoon, shopped for the ties, and helped me install the poems in the cocoon.
  • CAMILLE LEDUC, 3rd grade teacher at Sutton Elementary School, who gladly jumped into the adventure with her students.
  • DAPHNÉE POIRIER, Director of the CAB, for the loan of equipment, including the famous Powerpoint projector that made me somewhat sweat.
  • MIKAËL THEIMER, photographer, who knows how to be invisible while putting people at ease and who documented the project with beautiful photos.  And PAUL KHINNIS, a volunteer photographer from the PENS, who replaced Mikaël during a workshop.
  • AND HERE YOU ARE, members of the community, from the youngest to the oldest, you who have also agreed to carry this crazy project with me, with us.  Without you, without your commitment and participation, nothing would have happened.

I am still amazed by your CONFIDENCE, ENTHUSIASM, and CONSTANCE throughout the poetry workshops and the making of your poetry plaque.  And you are here today to celebrate the completion of this collective work.  That is quite a feat!

Poetry

Many things divide us on a daily basis:  our opinions, our interests, our mentalities, our beliefs, our ages, our education, our origins, our social classes.  Poetry has the ability to bring us all together, without discrimination.

Poetry crosses borders, generations, languages, cultures, and religions.  Poetry is for everyone, it speaks for all about what we have in common:  the power of our emotions and our desire for beauty and transcendence.  Poetry reminds us every day, and always has, that despite our differences, we share a common humanity.  Poetry exists all around us, if we give it a little space, it exists, not only around us but in us all.  The Poetry Cocoon is here to show us that there is a poet in each and every one of us, capable of creating a new, different, and inclusive world.  Long live poetry!

And long live the Poetry Cocoon, which awaits your visit until September 1st 2022.

Do you recognise your neighbours or poet friends?

Here are some photos taken by Mikaël Theimer during the inauguration of the famous Poetry Cocoon.  A magical moment!  Unbelievable!  A very joyful parade in the village under the leadership of Madame Zazou, a sometime shepherdess.  Sparks in the eyes of all the participants.  Poetry in the spotlight.  Discovering their poems hanging in the Cocoon was very moving.

Many thanks to the whole team!

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Marie Clark and Nathalie Désilets,
two happy artists.

I am speechless at the magnitude of the project, the beauty of the place—making us forget the electrical power lines, so close!

The path leading to the poetry cocoon, the fences, the borders,
how to calm one's thirst for more beauty,
until the discovery of THE MAGIC,
all these words from people of all ages...

In short, beauty that I hope the public will feel as they visit the poetry cocoon.

Céline Larouche