Vivou Guézo, poet and grandson of king !

He is funny, young, full of life, a vibrant soul, visceral others would say. “I’m not looking for myself, i’m finding myself.” I found him talented, so full of potential that it became wondering! Jasmin AHOSSIN-GUÉZO, grandson of our great King GUÉZO took hostage the throne of Beninese poetry. He reigns on it, he will as long as hearts will be blunted by his verbs conjugated at the infinite infinitive.

Poets are weird people in general. You love artificial wonderlands,  right?

Uh! Can i take a joker? (Big laughs). Otherwise I have deadly vices. But I plan to kill them one day.

Poet, actually it doesn’t mean anything. I assume it’s one more snoring title

I define my writing as frozen paintings of lived moments. So, that enduring the dictatorship of the intimate “I” give me a snoring title, I would rather take it as a compliment. And compliments at the debut of an interview are good! (smile)

And slamer? A natural derivative or another passion?

Oh! Slam, as for me, was a pretext to exorcise a trait of character that many won’t believe I have : shyness. I am, actually – and It’s less hard for me to say it today – a big troubled and agoraphobic guy. So, being on stage saying words I wrote in the moistness of my room was a happy catharsis.

To tell the truth, It hasn’t been that easy and obvious. Slam entered my life with Akpass, a Congolese slamer residing in France, who was in Benin to attend the alter-global festival “Incredible travelers” ten years ago. It was my radio years  and I hosted him on one of my broadcasts; he declaimed some texts and we stayed friends afterwards. It’s him who already used to say that my words could be and had to be declaimed on stage. He said the same thing to Kamal* who was a rapper back then.

So, when Thibaut Adotanou started to organize the first stages at CCF (aka French Institute nowadays), I used to attend them as a chronicler with my shooting teams without daring to go on stage. Then, it just happened. And I have not left stages since then. I love slam because of the vulgarization of the word it permits. Come to say a text, be it poetic or not, to people who came just for that, it’s a great pleasure, admit it! (smile)

In the academy of life since …? Are you pleased?

I don’t know why your question reminds me of some verses by Victor Hugo (I’m quoting from memory, relying on my memory which sometimes forgets itself) :

Born to live by seeking death

Grow up missing the childhood where lies the heart

Grow old missing youth’s delights

And then die missing the old age and life

  Naître pour vivre en désirant la mort

  Grandir en regrettant l’enfance où le cœur dort

  Vieillir en regrettant la jeunesse ravie

   Et mourir en regrettant la vieillesse et la vie

Is that a response? (smile)

Otherwise, at the academy of life, I am not a so bad student and what I see and live is not that bad. I have been there for nearly thirty (30) years, I wrote a book “Eden d’ébène” (Eden of Ebony) and co-wrote a few others here and there, populated the earth (thanks to Shaïra, my most beautiful poem), loved women (thanks to Bintou, great lady with a great soul and Aïda, she, my wing, etc, etc. [smile]). Besides, i’m a guy who cherishes his existential spleen. I don’t know why yet. As soon as I know, i’ll call you for a new interview.

Does it nourish, being a poet?

Clearly not. Moreover, the question should be: “Does the profession of writer feed its man in Bénin?”. The number of people living on their creative feather is anecdotal here. But, anyway, as for me, I have an alternative professional life in communication, advertising and media.

I have been, since my 22th, communication and marketing director at at “Média Production”, copywriter then supervisor of the  paper magazine and television shows department at the Kini-Kini agency. I’ve been in freelance for a long time with my little business Chrysalide group. And now in parallel, i’m co-working with two friends and fellow entrepreneurs and it’s rather rewarding.

I have been leading literary and artistic chronicles on a program on national television for 8 years; I wrote and composed songs for artists (scratching the guitar, it serves!) [On the first album of Sessimè, for example]; I participated in international poetry fairs; I initiated an event that rewards authors and actors of the book in Benin: “Les Plumes Vaudou”; My art jobs have given me some recognition by prizes and trophies of which I spare you the list.

But do not delude yourself! I am often bored and I currently caress a lot of projects. But as I am – I admit it publicly – a fervent adept of procrastination, they will be born perhaps … one day!

Actually, I do what I love. So I don't feel like i'm working. Click To Tweet

It is said that you speak very quickly, do you live as quickly?

Life, in any case, runs with large jets through my veins. If I die tomorrow, I think I will not have much to regret from life. My leitmotiv in life is: “fight, love and be quiet”. Click To Tweet I generally don’t expect anything from anyone. I create what I need and the rest, life goes on.

You have the name of a flower …

(smile) I see you coming. I admit that, in my social interactions, I don’t have much hard times. It comes more from my open mindset than from my name scents, I think (smile). Afterwards, to satisfy you, I love women and they haven’t deceived me so far.

So understood or misunderstood talent?

Talent, I don’t pretend to have any. A guy who have things to say? Totally. Understood or not? I have often been accused of being somewhat hermetical.

A journalist (Hurcyle Gnonhouè from Bénincultures) with whom this reputation preceded me told me after reading my collection that people speak louder than my words. I think in truth that the author who takes his pen and directs his writing towards hermeticism by muting a relevant subject, whether cognitive or emotional, has an ambiguous passion in his life: waste his time.

Everyone has his own language. Mine is what it is. And I know it meets its audience. And that’s fine. One have to understand that a a poem is not meant to tell something. It tells you more its subsequent blazing emotion. My introductory note in the book says it all: “this book is poetic, and so a sold off secret. Almost no facts are told in it. Though, you will know the inspired emotions, the feather-bridge … and the poem born as it shouldn’t have been : all of sudden and bastard! ”

Tell us some verses

{Non official English version}

Go tell my tribe that the diatribe is vain

That I know the value of the blood flooding through my veins

Go tell them the toughness of our value

And that the first son of a new era is born

The sun was tagging the heavenly sluices

When the elders, magnanimous and solemn

Took our future, this wheel without axles

Witnesses of the void here

To give a soul to life here

The child is born, fatal descendant of a mocked blood

To make its path a road and a stick out of its voice


Behind the ancestor’s hut, the wails have replaced the cries

And the old man smiled… the child bears the sign. He knows it, he feels it

Son of the fifth generation, wailing in the sun


It’s written over the lines of his blood !

Smile, old man!

The Eloquent mysteries are brief at the burial of amazement

So born was the son of the royal bloodline

Votive descendant, bearer of the expiatory of the guilty, by the loyal tied

The cardinal bird, fire alike

Inflame the forest of / with any semblance

Blazing feet don’t respect any voice

The king approved

Your born son want to raise its words

Master strain of my fathers, king without father
Visionary Monarch, Unmatched Developer

Oh father! I’m writing the book “Guézo or when operates the snap out of torpor”

In heaven, He reigned on birds

Men on earth and fishes in seas

More than a man and almost a god

He was king.  Guézo was the name of his



Va dire à ma tribu que la diatribe est vaine

Que je connais la valeur du sang qui coule dans mes veines

Va leur dire que nous avons la valeur dure

Et que le fils aîné d’une nouvelle ère est né.

Le soleil s’accouplait aux écluses des cieux

Quand les ancêtres, dans leur solennelle magnanimité

Ont pris notre avenir, cette roue sans essieu,

Témoins du vide d’ici

Pour donner une âme à la vie d’ici.

L’enfant est né, descendant fatal d’un sang bafoué

Pour faire de son sentier un chemin et de sa voix un fouet.

Derrière la case de l’aïeul, les cris ont laissé place aux vagissements ;

Et le vieillard a souri… l’enfant est porteur du signe. Il le sait, il le sent.

Fils de la cinquième génération, au soleil, vagissant…

C’est écrit sur les lignes de son sang !

Vieil homme, souris !

Les mystères éloquents sont laconiques à l’enterrement de l’étonnement.

Donc fils naquit qui est de la royale lignée

Rejeton votif, porteur de l’expiatoire des fautifs que le loyal liait.

L’oiseau cardinal, au feu ressemblant,

N’enflamme la brousse d’un quelconque semblant.

Gué di zo man si gbé

Dada nan gbé

Vitowé djidji djou nan dé gbé.

Souche maîtresse de mes pères, roi hors père

Monarque visionnaire, développeur hors pair

Ô père ! J’écris le livre : ‘Guézo ou quand la sortie de la torpeur opère’

Il régna sur les oiseaux des cieux,

Les hommes de la terre et les poissons des eaux

Il était plus qu’un homme et presque un dieu

Il était roi. On l’appelait Guezo


Technically, is is difficult to be a poet?

A sweet delusion it is, to see poetry as a difficult or a hard thing. The emotion being universal, poetry is fatally as universal. Being a poet, it is telling the world your rage, your joy, your essential ill or well being. Actually, everybody is a poet, despite themselves as long as they have an emotional sensitivity to beings and to things. Of course history only recall those who didn’t write themselves on the pages of the wind and who additionally have a style that immortalize them.

So humans of all countries, poetize yourself! Click To Tweet
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