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The Book of the Snow

by François Jacqmin

Bilingual English / French edition

Translated by Philip Mosley, introduced by Clive Scott

Part of our Visible Poets series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Francois Jacqmin is one of Belgium's most influential poets of the twentieth century, and this, his twelfth collection, is inspired by a bleak and beautiful natural landscape, where the falling snow gives rise to a sequence of 112 short poems which are both lyrical and suffused with irony, allusion and paradox.

An intriguing set of short, deceptively simple poems, The Book of the Snow meditates on our relation to the austere beauty and elemental power of the midwinter scene. It is also a subtle, witty, occasionally savage critique of our philosophical and artistic complacency. While pretending to literary defeatism, François Jacqmin captivates us with the deft touch of an accomplished poet.

Philip Mosley's beautifully modulated translation of the last collection to be published in the poet's lifetime, only two years before his death in 1992, makes available to English-language readers for the first time the work of one of Belgium's foremost francophone poets of the twentieth century.

[François Jacqmin is] a remarkable poet whose writing reveals a classical limpidity capable of opening up the faults of everyday life and of attaining a fragile tenderness.

Marc Quaghebeur

A poet touchingly defenceless in the face of adversity, yet ever stoical, passing the tests with an elegance that is slightly British and a calmness that has all the appearance of resignation.

Christian Schoenaers

Naturalist, philosopher and rhetorician: tasty trinity in one person.

Jacques Dubois

Mosley's translation of The Book of the Snow was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Prize.Watch Mosley read from Jacqmin's work at the ceremony:

Pbk: 9781904614555
Hbk: 9781906570026
Published 2011

» About François Jacqmin