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Saint-John Perse

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1960

Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given for "the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our times "

Born: 31/05/1887 in Saint-Ledger-Les-Feuiles, Guadeloupe Island

Died:  20/09/1975 in Presequile de Giens, France

Citizen: French

Language: French

Alexis Ledger, who later became known by his pen-name Saint-John Perse, was a French poet and diplomat who studied at the University of Bordeaux and in  Paris.In1914, he joined French Diplomatic Service. He worked in various countries such as Spain, Germany and UK. From 1916-21, he was secretary to the French Embassy in Peking. While in China, Ledger wrote his first extended poem Anabase and got it published in 1924 under pen name Saint-John Perse. For next two decades, he published nothing as he thought it inappropriate for serving foreign service officer to publish fiction. He was dismissed from his post after the fall of France in May, 1940 and was stripped of his citizenship. He migrated to USA to avoid the wrath of the Nazis.

    During his exile in USA, he worked as a consultant in the Library of Congress on French Literature. He also wrote several of his long poems, Exil, Vents and also enjoyed the hospitality of President  Roosevelt's Attorney General Francis Biddle & his spouse Katherine Garrison Chapin.

  Before his death, Leger donated his library, manuscripts and papers to Fondation Saint-John Perse, a Research Center dedicated to the writer.

 Notable Works:     Eloges                                          -- Eloges and other Poems(1911/1944),Anabase --Anabasis (1924/1930), Exil- Exile and other Poems (1942/1949) ,Poeme a l'Etrangere -- Poem to a Foreign Lady(/1943), Oiseaux-- Birds(1962/1966)

Saint-John Perse

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