Orphic Paris by Henri Cole
Henri Cole’s Orphic Paris combines autobiography, diary, essay, and poetry with photographs to create a new form of elegiac memoir. With Paris as a backdrop, Cole, an award-winning American poet, explores with fresh and penetrating insight the nature of friendship and family, poetry and solitude, the self and freedom.
Cole writes of Paris, “For a time, I lived here, where the call of life is so strong. My soul was colored by it. Instead of worshiping a creator or man, I cared fully for myself, and felt no guilt and confessed nothing, and in this place I wrote, I was nourished, and I grew.”
Written under the tutelary spirit of Orpheus—mystic, oracular, entrancing—Orphic Paris is an intimate Paris journal and a literary commonplace book that is a touching, original, brilliant account of the city and of the artists, writers, and luminaries, including Cole himself, who have been moved by it to create.
Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, to a French mother and an American father. He has published nine collections of poetry, including Middle Earth, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has received many awards for his work, including the Jackson Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent collection of poetry is Nothing to Declare. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College and lives in Boston.
by Henri Cole
Series: New York Review Books
Publication: April 3, 2018