Saint-John Perse (1887–1975) By Rigolot, Carol
Recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize for Literature, poet-diplomat Saint-John Perse (Alexis Leger) moved to France after a childhood in Guadeloupe and immediately began writing about his lost Eden. These Eloges (Praises, 1911) still feel modern in their kaleidoscopic juxtaposition of images and sensations. Posted in China during World War I, he wrote his masterpiece, Anabase (Anabasis), about the founding of a city. T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) loved this poem, translated it in 1924 and subsequently put it on the Anglo-American literary map. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) and Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888–1970) made it famous throughout Europe.