Blogger – Paul Harper : Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire : novelist , journalist , playwright , art critic , prize winning short story writer , coiner of the term Surrealism & the man who more or less invented Modern Poetry , The man who invented the ” conversational ” poem , a collage of real life & compositional abstraction just like the Cubism of Picasso & Braque he championed . He fought in the Western Front trenches of the First World War , where he wrote poetry , & suffered a serious head wound ..

Here’s a link for the life :
Here’s some for the poetry :
‘Zone’ is from his collection ‘Alcools’ , near enough to the first book of modern poetry . It’s crammed to overflowing with irony , wit , philosophical speculation & , like the still lives so favoured by the Cubists , fragments of the everyday .
His other great book . ‘Calligrammes’ . was largely written in the trenches . It plays with a host of styles and techniques , some new , some more or less traditional .  Among the newer styles were poems , almost drawings , in a variety of shapes;. these are the calligrammes of the title .
Neruda made me fall in love with poetry , but it didn’t last , For a variety of reasons poetry & I went our separate ways for 15 years or so . It was the book Calligrammes , with a little help from the Chinese poets of the great Rivers & Mountains tradition , that rekindled that little flame .

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