Patrice de La Tour du Pin (1911-1975) was born into a French noble family and grew up in the Gâtinais region of France. After attending university at Sciences Politiques in Paris and serving in the Second World War, he spent most of his life at home on his family's estate in Le Bignon-Mireabau. The author of numerous collections of poetry, he is perhaps best known for A Sum of Poetry, a three-volume, multi-genre work of poetry and mysticism.
Jennifer Grotz (translator)
Jennifer Grotz is the author of two books of poetry, The Needle and Cusp. Her poems, translations, and reviews appear widely in journals such as The New England Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review as well as in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. She teaches poetry and translation at the University of Rochester and also serves as the Assistant Director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
"'Was he bowing to himself when he died?' So begins one of the most daring, unusual, and memorable collections of poetry in translation I have read in years. This book of "remade psalms," written by "a child of September" and carried across into English by one of our best lyric voices, gives readers that rare thing: the voice of a devotional poet who is skeptical, self-doubting and struggling—but also glorious in his high-style lyricism and aspiration."
"Jennifer Grotz has given a believable English accent to Patrice de La Tour du Pin's extraordinary twentieth-century Psalms. Rising from their author's singular devotion and solitude, these poems ring wirh timeless intensity. Reader, open the gate, "And let yourself be led towards a future garden: / light carries its secret." But beware. As La Tour du Pin confesses, such an interior journey has its dangers, now as ever: "You never told me it would be so terrible / to look for you inside myself ..." This book is a stark primer of the contemplative life, and a signal achievement of presence and voice on the part of the translator."
"The very idea of pursuing faith leads to the possibility of missing it or mistaking it or going wrong and, thus, one must learn to become comforted by uncertainty and paradox. Such is the tone of these songs of faith by Patrice de La Tour du Pin—anguish and hope are voices in the same choir. The justice Jennifer Grotz has given these difficult poems is clear—they shine with import and originality and the heart is in them still. It is a joy to have this book."
Carnegie Mellon University Press