Thursday, February 27, 2014

Francis Jammes

Francis Jammes (1868 - 1938) was a French poet. Coming from an ancient family, he spent most of his life in his native region of Béarn and the Basque Country and his poems are known for their lyricism and for singing the pleasures of a humble country life (donkeys, maidens).
The young author's first poems began to be read in Parisian literary circles around 1895, and they were appreciated for their fresh tone which broke considerably from symbolist tendencies of the period. Jammes fraternised with other writers, including André Gide (with whom he travelled to Algeria in 1896), Stéphane Mallarmé and Henri de Régnier.
In 1905 Francis Jammes, influenced by the poet Paul Claudel with whom he became close, "converted" to Catholicism (in actuality a return to being a practising Catholic) and his poetry became more austere and occasionally more dogmatic.
In the eyes of Parisian literary circles, Francis Jammes was generally considered a solitary provincial who chose to live a life of retreat in his mountainous Pyrenees, and his poems never became entirely fashionable. The author sought nomination to the Académie française several times, but was never elected.
Jammes was known to have an ardent passion for field sports, especially game hunting. He was known to have also been a believer in the conservation of endangered species.

"Francis Jammes" - Spraypaint on canvas

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