André Verdet, poetry and astronomy

Photo black and white, portraits of André Verdet and Pablo Picasso, in the backgroun many palm trees.

Here, a very interesting unpublished 1979 poetical thought by the prominent French character who wrote it in a special artpiece, a mix of drawing and poem, which is here published as well.


L’étoile qui naît 

Voit toujours plus loin

que sa propre nuit 


André Verdet was born in Nice in 1913. Poet, painter, sculptor, essayst, fond of astronomy and musician (he was part of the band Bételgeuse devoted to free jazz). He would pass away in 2004. In 1937, he met Jean Giono, four years later Jacques Prévert and also Pablo Picasso in 1951: three figures who encouraged him towards poetry, painting and sculpture. In 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo together with the surrealist poet Robert Desnos.

They were deported to Auschwitz and Buchenwald. In 1949 he went back to Saint-Paul de Vence, where he settled definitively. It was in 1951 when Pablo Picasso encouraged him to take up painting and sculpture, which he embraced. From that time on he became a close friend of many other artists such as Matisse, Chagall, Hartung, Léger. He published various collections of poems and books and essays on art. From the ‘60s he made a fusion between astronomy and poetry, alongside with mythology and classic literature. He died in Saint-Paul de Vence in 2004.

Work by André Verdet, abstract pencil drawing on paper. Looking at the work: on the left a poetic text, on the bottom right the dedication of the author.

I have always considered André Verdet, a real dear friend, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. That’s because of his original imagination which biologically merges with his deep poetic thoughts and feelings, catalyzing ringing transparency and freshness. He lived in his hermitage in Saint-Paul de Vence where he was kindly a mentor and “duke” to me in relation to places and characters, artists, poets, and even scientists. That place was his observatory on the world, an observatory which let him experience continuous osmosis between travels, meetings, astronomy, music with his mind and mood. In fact his internal world tended at internalizing and metabolizing the stimuli received. A figure well aware of his skills ​​and therefore modest, affable, rich in values, even the human ones. (Carmelo Strano)