"M. Sully-Prudhomme"
Public DomainSully-Prudhomme
A French poet and essayist, René François Armand Prudhomme was the first ever winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded in 1901. Trained as an engineer, he set out to create scientific poetry for the modern world. Like many of the writers Hardy admires, Prudhomme had a pessimistic outlook and, in his most dark work, expresses the view that to be born is to be sentenced to suffer.