One of France’s most important contemporary poets, Eugène Guillevic (1907-1997) was born in Carnac in Brittany, and although he never learned the Breton language, his personality is deeply marked by his feeling of oneness with his homeland.
His poetry has a remarkable unity, driven by his desire to use words to bridge a tragic gulf between man and a harsh and often apparently hostile natural environment. For Guillevic, the purpose of poetry is to arouse the sense of Being. In this poetry of description - where entire landscapes are built up from short, intense texts - language is reduced to its essentials, as words are placed on the page ‘like a dam against time’. When reading these poems, it is as if time is being stopped for man to find himself again.