Friendship Jean-Jacques Fournier Poetry Poets

Episode 23: Friendship Through the Voice of Poet, Jean-Jacques Fournier

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia!

The refreshing taste of an iced fruit tea on a hot summer afternoon in August adds to the pure enjoyment of reading the poetry of my dear friend and poet, Jean-Jacques Fournier.

Jean-Jacques Fournier is a native of Montreal and has been living  in the Eastern Townships (QC) since 2010 with his French wife Marianne. Before returning to Canada, he lived eight glorious years in the South of France, first in Vence, which is situated in the hills of the Alpes Maritime overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Then in Grasse, considered the world’s capital of perfume. It sounds marvelous, does it not?

Jean-Jacques’s poetry expresses the emotional depth and breadth of the human experience.

Join me as I explore the theme of friendship through the voice and words of poetry by Jean-Jacques Fournier

I’m your host, Rebecca Budd and I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

In a recent blog post, I wrote that a long-time friend once said to me, “We have a friendship, with commas.”

“What does that mean?” I had asked asked.

“It means that, no matter how much time has passed, we pick up our conversation where we left off. There are no “periods” in our friendship timeline.”

Within a few hours of publishing my post, I received this insightful response from my friend, Jean-Jacques:

A very lovely friendship philosophy and one to be envied. What this world of ours needs considering what our century’s speed-crazed society must now contend, as with the obsolescence factor on near everything from the minimal mundane, up to and even including friendship, which with the advent of Facebook, the word friend has become a generic term much like the trademark word of Frigidaire became the reference name for all marks of refrigerators, all of which we have come to consider as normal. And if I may be so bold, from my collection of friendship poems, I would include my first ever published poem called “Friend”, and another short one from much later, called “A Friendship…”

Jean-Jacques thoughts on how friendship has become generic, resonated, especially in a time when our reward systems need a complete retrofit. We measure our personal value by the number of likes rather than engaging conversations, speed over thoughtful reflection, fashion over style. Friendship brings health and wealth to our spirit. I am delighted that Jean-Jacques has given me permission to read and share his two poems on friendship.

“ Friend ”
– a singular entitlement –

Why do they call me friend…

What is their cause
Or purpose
To judge me worthy,
That they should levy
Such expression of regard,
Entrust this much
To be bestowed
Upon my person,
Thus be asked to manage
With this impressive status…

And to this call, friend
A singular entitlement,
Who finds possess
Such impartiality
Could deem me deserving,
Or capable indeed
To discharge such obligation,
Required and implied
When one is given title,
That of being called friend…

Why do they call me friend!

© Jean-Jacques Fournier

“ A Friendship ”
– that august gift –

Of rare occasion
Be such a present,
That of friendship,
Held to bestow
Upon ones life,
Chance caused
Find a place
Where so decides,
Incarnate state
Best be ascribed,
Thus years ago
Two scores or more,
Serendipity alas
Upon me did bestow
That august gift!

© Jean-Jacques Fournier

Jean-Jacques Fournier started writing in earnest, while living in California in the early eighties. In the process of reinventing himself numerous times, his penchant for the language of poetry seemed best suited to express emotional experiences. While in France, he published his first three books. He has published fifteen books of poetry to date.  His latest book, CHAOS – a human side of man was published December 20, 2018, which is available through Amazon and Jean-Jacques website, Poetry on a canapé.  I invite you to visit for links to Jean-Jacques and transcripts of this podcast.

Thank you for joining me on Tea Toast and Trivia. And special thank you to my friend, Jean-Jacques!

May we embrace the grace and generosity of friendship on our journey.  Life is the very best with shared with kindred spirits.

Until next time, dear friends, safe travels wherever your adventure take you.



By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

25 replies on “Episode 23: Friendship Through the Voice of Poet, Jean-Jacques Fournier”

Your reading and words on friendship reminded me of a little verse in my old autograph book: “There are big ships and little ships,
and ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships,
and may they always be.” Interestingly, the suffix ‘ship’ and the noun ‘ship’ do not share the same etymology. I wish that they did. I can think of nothing better than a ship full of friends! 🙂

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Oh how very very well said. I looked up the poem to find the author. According to Goodreads it is “Anonymous.” I am grateful to all the Anonymous writers, artists, poets that added joy to our world. Your comments always send me on a treasure hunt. Headed over the etymology world once if finish writing this comment. You are the best!!!

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Thank you for introducing me to Jean-Jacques Fournier, such a delightful experience. Imagine writing so much in poetry, what a gift , talent and ability. I enjoyed hearing you read the lines so well and with genuine expression. Thank you, I shall return to this.

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I am delighted that you enjoyed this podcast. Jean-Jacques’s poetry allows readers to explore the depth and breadth of the human experience. Consider the idea of friendship. There are so many variations of this theme. Each friendship has unique qualities and outcomes. All of which, is a celebration of our interconnected lives.

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I truly appreciate your kind and generous words, and ever so pleased hearing my reflections so well read by the dear and talented originator of this terrific new podcast of Tea Toast & Trivia. Magnificent idea and worthy purpose!

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You were the one who inspired me to record my poetry readings – to be bold and include my interpretation. When I studied literature in university, I found that the primary concern was to dissect every line so that it became a blur to me. What was the correct rhythm? What was the tone? How was each word to be articulated? Looking back, I realize that the enormity of poetry can be overwhelming. One or two literature courses just provide a starting point, a place to begin the journey. Poetry is life-long; it is embedded within us. As we age and gather more memories, poetry allows us to explore and celebrate the fullness of our experiences. I am grateful for our poets!!! I enjoy our conversations.

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Interesting that you mention your university experience of dissecting a poem’s every line. “Dissection” is done to dead things. Poetry comes to life when the reader experiences it. Any discussion and analysis of a poem should enhance and enrich your experience of it.

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I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t think that I was ready for the grandness of poetry. I learned that I needed to be more open, more receptive to the gift of poetry. I used to walk back and forth from work and home (my commitment to sustainability) and took up reading via audiobook. I came across the audio of poems being read the poets who penned them. I remember being overwhelmed by the elegance of the oral tradition. Anyway, I was in the middle of a busy city street when I started to cry for the beauty of what was being offered. From that time on, I was on the poetry trail. One day, when courage comes, I will start to write poetry, but for now, I bask in the enjoyment of what has been written.

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How wonderful to read all these positive and encouraging affirmations on the medium of poetry, which in spite of its historic inception, somehow remains ageless and thus so throughout its periodic resurgences, at least in my ever accumulating years, and now seemingly stronger than ever.
For that, as a humble scribbler of this medium, I will be forever grateful to you all for so kindly sharing your assuring thoughts.

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This is another one of your posts which I have bookmarked as I am sure to come back to it again and again. And I have ordered a copy of Jean-Jacques book – thank you for sharing his powerful work.

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I am delighted that you enjoyed the podcast. Jean-Jacques has been a strong influence and inspiration in my returning to poetry, something that I lost along the way over the years. Poetry has rhythm, dynamics that demand entry into our hearts. Powerful stuff.

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A belated heartfelt thanks to you LiZ, for your appreciation, of poetry and your reassuring gesture of acquiring a copy of my book. Discovering you comment makes for the kind of encouragement on which we scribblers feed. Thank you again, and thanks again too, to Rebecca for her introducing my reflections to you and the many others who follow her wonderful creative talent!

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Isn’t it fabulous that the internet allows us to meet new friends so easily. Becky is an amazing facilitator and creator and we are all so lucky to have her in our lives. I learn so much from her, including finding your poetry which is wonderful. I am a voracious reader in general but often sluggish and slow with poetry, so I always enjoy finding new collections like yours which are fizzing with energy and insight. 😀

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Thank you for your wonderful comments, Liz. I remember the first time that I pressed the “publish” button on my first post. I took a big DEEP breath and sent out my message to the blogger universe, never anticipating that I would be involved in such a brilliant, eclectic, transformational community. We inspire each other and look for ways in which to create opportunities for growth and exploration. Like you, I have come lately to poetry and discovered anew a fresh and insightful language. I like Percy Bysshe Shelley’s thought: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” Jean-Jacques’s poetry reflects this idea. Every time I a “Jean-Jacques” poem via his blog, I stand in the middle of a room and recite it aloud. Looking forward to many more wonderful conversations!

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This is one heck of a wonderful post, Rebecca!
Iced tea on a hot day, and a philosophical poet friend like Jean-Jacques is a winning recipe. His poems on friendship are fabulous, and you did them great justice with your readings. I’ll be visiting his site now. {{{HUGS}}}

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I am so glad that you enjoyed this post – Jean-Jacques is a marvelous, generous poet. I keep his books of poetry close by. Friendship is essential for without connections we would surely die of loneliness. By the way, drinking ice tea and sending hugs back your way.

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