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(26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918 / Rome)

Guillaume Apollinaire
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Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother.

Among the foremost poets of the early 20th century, he is credited with coining the word Surrealism and writing one of the earliest works described as surrealist, the play The Breasts of Tiresias (1917, used as the basis for a 1947 opera). Two years after being wounded in World War I, he died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 at age 38.


Born Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki and raised speaking French, among other languages, he emigrated ... more »

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  • ''Memories are hunting horns
    Whose sound dies on the wind.''
    Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), Italian-born French poet, critic. Alcools, Cors de Chasse, st. 2, 3 (1913).
  • ''I love men, not for what unites them, but for what divides them, and I want to know most of all what gnaws at their hearts.''
    Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), Italian-born French poet, critic. Mercure de France (Paris) no. 33 (April 1, 1911). Anecdotiques (1926).
  • ''It's raining my soul, it's raining, but it's raining dead eyes.''
    Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), Italian-born French poet, critic. La Nuit d'avril 1915, Calligrammes (1918). On enemy fire.
  • ''A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.''
    Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), Italian-born French poet, critic. "New Painters," The Cubist Painters (1913).
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