I, at first, dismissed and refused the idea of having a “blog,” then, as years passed and blogging was gaining more credence, I said to myself: Why not? Having been part of the generation I would call Between-Two-World-Generation (second half 20th and first half 21st centuries), I can appreciate the tremendous technological/digital revolution that has taken place right under my eyes (temporally speaking). I remember the many hassles we had to go through in the 1980’s in order to put out a little typeset magazine, the prohibitive price of publishing and publicizing it to more than a couple of hundreds people, the quasi-silence of the readership. A blog capable of reaching millions around the globe seems so far away in time and space.
I want to use this channel as together an unedited first draft volley, a journal intime (private diary) where all thought is permitted, and a forum where I’m inviting other writers to send texts and comments. It would also be, of course, therapeutic, because this function of writing is the most liberating of all. If insanity is a sort of rebellion of the soul against oppressive power structures, poetry is its no less rebellious cousin who wants to stir it toward redemptive finality.
I will write this blog in three languages, English, French and Haitian, depending on the particular mood I’m in or the pressing issue on hand. Once in a while I will exhort my readers to pay attention to a certain writer, event or public pronouncement, either to critique it or to encourage support.
Finally, while I will encourage free flowing of arguments and ideas, I will not publish — and will remove — comments and venomous arguments that are trying to degrade, hurt or humiliate others. Hate discourse is part of that interdiction, be it against a race, an ethnicity, a gender, a sexual orientation or a philosophical/religious creed.
Let’s now enjoy the adventure of writing off the cuff, going wherever one’s imagination or impulse would lead us. That’s the appeal of the blog.
My First Poem
I must have been 7 or 8 years old when I wrote my first poem. My mother was all complimentary, with some kind of prideful amazement. She took the poem, written long hand on a piece of school notebook, and showed it to the entire lakou vwazinaj (the surrounding neighbors within a certain enclosure) in this Bolosse section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
I, in turn, found my mother’s reaction quite exaggerate, given I didn’t recognize in me any particular talent, although in 3rd grade French writing I was very fluent, to the point I would help other classmates. Of course I felt flattered by my mother’s excitement.
It is undisputable that this simple congratulatory act of my mother had a positive influence on my confidence in writing although it may not have had a causalistic effect on my continuing to write: there are surely many good writers who continue to write in spite of their mother’s (or any parent’s or authority’s) dismissal.
I don’t remember what I said in the poem but it certainly was my first, and my mother my first admiring reader. I continued to write poems and proto-philosophical reflections throughout my adolescence. Most of my adolescent poems were on love or romantic intrigues. Broken hearts and women’s betrayal or misunderstanding. My reflections were almost always on the unjust nature of life, the caprice of fate. Existential questioning.
To see other writings by Tontongi, go to website :
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Pou wè plis tèks Tontongi ekri, ale sou sit: