Paul CLAUDEL (1868-1955), poet, playwright, essayist, a towering force in French literature of the first half of the 20th century.
He very early adopted a long, unscanned, usually unrhymed line that came to be known as the verset claudélien, which is his unique contribution to French prosody.
He had a subsequent diplomatic career also. Becoming expert in economic affairs, in 1890 he embarked on a long and brilliant career in the foreign service that took him from New York City to China (for 14 years), back to Europe, and then to South America.
As he traveled the world, removed from the literary circles of Paris, he slowly elaborated his theocentric conception of the universe and conceived his vocation: the revelation through poetry, both lyrical and dramatic, of the grand design of creation. This enthusiastic and relentless deciphering of the cosmos was inspired in Claudel’s 18th year by a double revelation: the discovery of Rimbaud’s Illuminations and his sudden conversion to Roman Catholicism.
In 1900 Claudel underwent a religious crisis and decided to abandon his artistic and diplomatic career and enter a Benedictine monastery. Discouraged by the Order and deeply disappointed, he left France to take up a consular post in China.(britannica.com)