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Saint-John Perse
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    (May 31, 1887-September 20, 1975)
    Born in Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe
    Birth name was Marie-Rene-Auguste-Alexis Saint-Leger Leger
    Poet and diplomat
    General Secretary of the French Foreign Office (1932-40)
    Poetry collections include 'Eloges' (1911), 'Anabase' (1924), 'Exil' (1942), 'Neiges' (1944), 'Vents' (1946), 'Amers' (1957), 'Oiseaux' (1963), 'Pour Dante' (1965) and 'Nocturne' (1973)
    Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1960)
    He gave up writing poetry for nearly two decades, feeling it was an inappropriate indulgence for a diplomat.
    He refused to join the Free French while in exile during World War II.
    He rejected an offer from the post-war government to serve as French ambassador to the US (1947).
    As a prominent anti-Nazi, he went into exile in the US after the fall of France.
    The Gestapo destroyed three long poems, a drama, and a philosophical essay he had left in his Paris apartment.
    The Nobel Prize committee praised the 'soaring flights and evocative imagery of his poetry.'
    Rather pettily, Charles de Gaulle refused to congratulate him when he won the Nobel Prize.

Credit: C. Fishel

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