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.
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: