Guillaume Apollinaire quotes

Guillaume Apollinaire photo
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Guillaume Apollinaire

Birthdate: 26. August 1880
Date of death: 9. November 1918

Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish descent.

Apollinaire is considered one of the foremost poets of the early 20th century, as well as one of the most impassioned defenders of Cubism and a forefather of Surrealism. He is credited with coining the term "cubism" in 1911 to describe the emerging art movement and the term "surrealism" in 1917 to describe the works of Erik Satie. The term Orphism is also his. Apollinaire wrote one of the earliest Surrealist literary works, the play The Breasts of Tiresias , which became the basis for the 1947 opera Les mamelles de Tirésias.

Two years after being wounded in World War I, Apollinaire died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918; he was 38.

Works

Alcools
Alcools
Guillaume Apollinaire
Calligrammes
Calligrammes
Guillaume Apollinaire

Quotes Guillaume Apollinaire

„Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came
And he pushed
And they flew.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire

Christopher Logue's poem "Come to the Edge" from New Numbers (London: Cape, 1969) pp. 65-66. It was originally written for a poster advertising an Apollinaire exhibition at the ICA in 1961 or 1962, and was titled "Apollinaire Said"; hence it is often misattributed to Apollinaire (Source: Quote…Unquote Newsletter, July 1995, p. 2).
Misattributed

„We hurry since everything hurries
And I shall never not return
Memories are all archaic horns
Silenced by the wind.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Passons passons puisque tout passe
Je me retournerai souvent
Les souvenirs sont cors de chasse
Dont meurt le bruit parmi le vent
"Cors de chasse" (Hunting Horns), line 9; translation from Donald Revell (trans.) Alcools (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1995) p. 159.
Alcools (1912)

„From this new alliance – for until now costume and scenery on one hand, choreography on the other, have been linked only artificially – there has resulted in Parade a kind of sur-réalisme.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire

De cette alliance nouvelle, car jusqu'ici les décors et les costumes, d'une part, la choréographie, d'autre part, n'avaient entre eux qu'un lien factice, il est résulté, dans Parade, une sorte de sur-réalisme.
Excelsior, May 11, 1917; translation from Michael Benedikt & George E. Wellwarth (eds.) Modern French Theatre (New York: Dutton, 1964) p. xvii.
The first usage of the word surrealism in any language.

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„Under Mirabeau Bridge flows the Seine.
Why must I be reminded again
Of our love?
Doesn't happiness issue from pain?
Bring on the night, ring out the hour.
The days wear on but I endure.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure
"Le Pont Mirabeau" (Mirabeau Bridge), line 1; translation by William Meredith, from Francis Steegmuller Apollinaire: Poet Among the Painters (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973) p. 193.
Alcools (1912)

„We mean to explore kindness and its enormous silences.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Calligrammes

Nous voulons explorer la bonté contrée énorme où tout se tait
"La jolie rousse" (The Pretty Redhead), line 26; p. 135.
Calligrammes (1918)

„Nor days nor any time detain.
Time past or any love
Cannot come again.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
"Le Pont Mirabeau" (Mirabeau Bridge), line 19; translation by William Meredith, from Francis Steegmuller Apollinaire: Poet Among the Painters (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973) p. 193.
Alcools (1912)

„And now comes the summer of violence
And my youth is as dead as the springtime
O Sun it is the time of fiery Reason“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Calligrammes

Voici que vient l'été la saison violente
Et ma jeunesse est morte ainsi que le printemps
Ô soleil c'est le temps de la raison ardente
"La jolie rousse" (The Pretty Redhead), line 31; p. 135.
Calligrammes (1918)

„At last you're tired of this elderly world
Shepherdess O Eiffel Tower this morning the bridges are bleating
You're fed up living with antiquity“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

A la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien
Bergère ô tour Eiffel le troupeau des ponts bêle ce matin
Tu en as assez de vivre dans l'antiquité grecque et romaine
"Zone", line 1; translation from Donald Revell (trans.) Alcools (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1995) p. 3.
Alcools (1912)

„Geometry is to the plastic arts what grammar is to the art of the writer.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire

La géométrie est aux arts plastiques ce que la grammaire est à l'art de l'écrivain.
Les peintres cubistes (1913), reprinted in Oeuvres en prose complètes (Paris: Gallimard, 1991) vol. 2, p. 11; translation from Lionel Abel (trans.) The Cubist Painters (New York: Wittenborn, 1949) p. 13.

„I picked this sprig of heather
Autumn has died you must remember
We shall not see each other ever
I'm waiting and you must remember
Time's perfume is a sprig of heather“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

J'ai cueilli ce brin de bruyère
L'automne est morte souviens-t'en
Nous ne nous verrons plus sur terre
Odeur du temps brin de bruyère
Et souviens-toi que je t'attends
"L'Adieu" (The Farewell), line 1; translation from Donald Revell (trans.) Alcools (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1995) p. 83.
Alcools (1912)

„And the single string of the marine trumpets.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Et l'unique cordeau des trompettes marines
"Chantre" (Singer), in its entirety; translations by William Meredith, from Francis Steegmuller Apollinaire: Poet Among the Painters (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973) p. 210.
Alcools (1912)

„And for your eyes my life takes poison slowly.“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Et ma vie pour tes yeux lentement s'empoisonne
"Les colchiques" (The Saffrons), line 7; translation from Donald Revell (trans.) Alcools (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1995) p. 35.
Alcools (1912)

„Farewell, false love, I took you for
The woman that I lost last year
Forever as I think:
I loved her but I will not see
Her any more in Germany.
O Milky Way, sister in whiteness
To Canaan's rivers and the bright
Bodies of lovers drowned,
Can we follow toilsomely
Your path to other nebulae?“

—  Guillaume Apollinaire, book Alcools

Adieu faux amour confondu
Avec la femme qui s'éloigne
Avec celle que j'ai perdue
L'année dernière en Allemagne
Et que je ne reverrai plus
Voie lactée ô sœur lumineuse
Des blancs ruisseaux de Chanaan
Et des corps blancs des amoureuses
Nageurs morts suivrons-nous d’ahan
Ton cours vers d'autres nébuleuses
"La Chanson du Mal-Aimé" (Song of the Poorly Loved), line 56; translation by William Meredith, from Francis Steegmuller Apollinaire: Poet Among the Painters (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973) p. 95.
Alcools (1912)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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