The Second Seedtime
by Philippe Jaccottet
Seagull Books, 2017
One of Europe’s finest contemporary poets, Philippe Jaccottet is a writer of exacting attention. Through his keen observations of the natural world, of art, literature and music, and his reflections on the human condition, he opens his readers’ eyes to the transcendent in everyday life. The Second Seedtime, a collection of ‘things seen, things read and things dreamt’, continues the project Jaccottet had begun three decades earlier in his first volume of notebooks. Here, again, he gathers flashes of beauty dispersed around him like seeds that may blossom into poems or moments of inspiration. He returns, insistently, to such literary touchstones as Dante, Montaigne, Góngora, Goethe, Kierkegaard, Hölderlin, Michaux, Hopkins, Emily Brontë and Emily Dickinson as well as musical ones such as Bach, Monteverdi, Purcell and Schubert. This is the vivid chronicle of one man’s passionate engagement with the life of the mind, the spirit and the natural world.
Philippe Jaccottet, The Second Seedtime