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Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was a key figure in twentieth-century literature and a progenitor of French surrealism. His most important works were Alcools: Poems 1898-1913 and Calligrammes: Poems de la paix de la guerre, which experimented with subject matter taken from modern life and forms not seen before in French poetry, including the omission of punctuation and lineating poems to resemble shapes. 


Apollinaire’s “Zone”

Spring 2013 | Poetry

Apollinaire experimented with audacious techniques for generating verse. On occasion he would sit in a café and weave overheard phrases into the composition. Read David Lehman's translation of "Zone," the central poem in Apollinaire's career.