Saint-John Perse managed to combine poetry with diplomacy most of his life. Born on a small family-owned island of Guadeloupe, he became a member of the French diplomatic corps and was permanent secretary of foreign affairs after Briand's death and until the Germans invaded France. He fled to England, then Canada, and, at the request of Archibald MacLeish came to the United States to act as consultant on French poetry to the Library of Congress. Manuscripts left behind when he escaped from France were destroyed by the Nazis. He received the Nobel Prize in 1960.