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Equinoxes: Forgetting the spleen…

Baudelaire Poetry Day


Every year, as part of the Extra! literary festival, the Centre Pompidou and some fifteen cultural institutions in France and abroad join forces for a new international poetry day, dedicated to an emblematic figure. After last year’s tribute to the American poet John Giorno, this time the focus is on the modern poet par excellence, Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867).

For the second carte blanche at Centre Pompidou’s invitation, the Foundation is bringing together artists and poets to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the author of Fleurs du Mal and Petits poèmes en prose. The aim is to pay an offbeat and resolutely contemporary tribute to one of the great inventors of modern poetry.
This event that takes place at the Foundation draws out the Equinoxes’ online poetry platform which from April 2020 have brought together some 180 guests over a period of fifteen months and resulted in two publications of unique texts published by Editions Ishtar.


Forgetting the spleen…

“I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old” wrote Baudelaire in Spleen

Memory, a crucial phenomenon in our lives, often marvels and sometimes tortures. Wonderful because without memory, it is impossible to learn; without memory, civilisations and their evolution could not exist. Wonder when our memories bring us closer to childhood, wonder also that the memory of the body, which reminds us of our organic joys and our unconscious learning, and oh marvellous Madeleine, and oh marvellous flowers, luxury and voluptuousness… Torture, on the other hand, when it is impossible for us to forget the painful moments of our past life, when the altered memory weighs down the weight of a thousand years of life, and sometimes inflicts on us even sick syndromes.

I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old

A large chest of drawers cluttered with balance sheets,
Of verses, sweet notes, trials, romances,
With heavy hair rolled in receipts,
Hides fewer secrets than my sad brain…

“My sad brain”? So let us not forget forgetting, the twin corollary of memory, the wonderful, beneficial, indispensable forgetting, a factor of relief, regeneration, rebirth, life.

To forget is also to live again.


Programming and moderation: Barbara Polla and Nathalie Guiot

Guest readers: Aurore Abdoul-Maninroudine, Florence Baudoux, Astrid Chaffringeon, Haleh Chinikar & Sandra de Vivies, Rosanna Gangemi, Aurélie Gravas, Christine Guinard, Nathalie Guiot, Mélanie Huchet, Margot Jourquin, Rachel Labastie, Vincent Scarito, Joseph Schiano di Lombo (Thalie residency 2021), Barbara Polla, Joana Preiss, Nathalie Vanderlinden



Joseph di Lombo, Peintre de la Vie moderne, Éloge du maquillage
Aurélie Gravas, Une chanson qui parle d’oubli
Florence Baudoux, Désir
Rosanna Gangemi, Descente en Belgique
Mélanie Huchet, Somewhere in Texas City
Rachel Labastie, Amère Madeleine
Christine Guinard, La matière, accompagnée par Ninon Robin, danseuse
Barbara Polla, Ne pas oublier Sappho

Margot Jourquin, Les amants sans soulier
Aurore Abdoul-Marinoudine, La gravure
Astrid Chaffringeon & Jérémy Saget, Morning Blossom
Vincent Scarito, She flies she says         
Nathalie Vanderlinden, Ce que je sais d’elle
Haleh Chinikar & Sandra de Vivies, Lavoir de récits

Nathalie Guiot, introduction



Upon the invitation of and in partnership with the Centre Pompidou – Paris and Brussels Drawing Week