"Il n'est pas interdit à la poésie..."

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In his critical essays, Jean-Paul Michel uses numerous terms associated with permission, such as 'permit', 'audacity', 'rules', 'legislate'. The statement by Michel that forms the title of this chapter suggests two lines of enquiry. First, its negative formulation introduces ambiguity: does the poet have the right to be audacious, or rather the obligation? And can poetry respond to these demands directly or not? Second, given that the statement is taken from a short text on Alberto Giacometti, does poetry have any special rights or responsibilities when it engages with visual art? The article examines the work of Jean-Paul Michel through the lens of the limits that poetry establishes and transgresses. It argues that Michel's work is a rigorous attempt to find the constraints that will best enable him to discern the limits of the poet's task.

Bibliographic note

Published in: Bishop, Michael & Gosztola, Matthieu, Jean-Paul Michel: La surprise de ce qui est. Colloques de Cerisy – Littérature. Paris, France: Classiques Garnier. 2018. ISBN: 978-2-406-08001-5


Translated title of the contributionPoetry is not forbidden to...
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalColloques de Cerisy – Littérature
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2018


  • Jean-Paul Michel, poetry, French poetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas