An Anecdoted Biography of Guillaume Apollinaire

Apollinaire3Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918) Born Guillaume Albert Wladimir Alexander Apollinaire de Kosdrowitzky in Rome. Apollinaire was a poet and mouthpiece of Cubism, writing on art and clarifying the significance of the changes afoot in Paris before and during the First World War. Among artists and writers, he was everyone’s friend and kept everyone friendly; Gertrude Stein wrote that after his death (of a head wound, from the war), there was no one to keep them all together. His Cubist Apollinaire2poems included snatches of overheard café conversation and sounds of the street, much as Braque’s and Picasso’s paintings would take in a scrap of newspaper. Apollinaire was incredibly active during these years, and in Alcools he celebrated Paris in poetry that caught the rhythm and light of the city in this brilliant time.

The Bells

My gipsy beau my lover
Hear the bells above us
We loved passionately
Thinking none could see us

But we so badly hidden
All the bells in their song
Saw from heights of heaven
And told it everyone

Tomorrow Cyprien Henry
Marie Ursule Catherine
The baker’s wife her husband
and Gertrude that’s my cousin

Will smile when I go by them
I won’t know where to hide
You far and I’ll be crying
Perhaps I shall be dying

Guillaume Apollinaire


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