20th century American poet and writer
An American born in Boston in 1935, Sobin moved to the south of France as a young man to study independently with René Char and Martin Heidegger, and spent the rest of his life there. New Directions published three books of poetry, The Earth as Air (1984); Voyaging Portraits (1988); and Breath’s Burials (1995); and his translation of Henri Michaux’s Ideograms in China (1984). Other poetry volumes include By the Bias of Sound: Selected Poems 1974-1994; Toward the Blanched Alphabets; and The Places as Preludes. His novels are Venus Blue; Dark Mirrors: A Novel of Provence; The Fly-Truffler; and In Pursuit of a Vanishing Star. He is the author of an extraordinary archeological meditation in two volumes, Luminous Debris: Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc, and Ladder of Shadows. Sobin died in 2005.
“Gustaf Sobin enters the subtle substance of words with such profound caring. Reading, one becomes immersed in language, swims in a physical sea of meaning which can only have breath for its sustenance. He is a consummate poet and Breaths' Burials is the farthest reach yet of his unique powers.”