short biography of Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)
Apollinaire was a French poet. I think
he invented the word 'surrealism' and
possibly the word 'cubism' too. He was friends
with Picasso and Rousseau and Matisse and other artist types.
He was only thirty-eight years old when he died in 1918 (of the Spanish flu).
Included below are seventeen poems taken
from one of Apollinaire's books called
Le Bestiaire ou Cortege d'Orphee.
I didn't translate all the poems because some of them were too difficult for me.
Here's a good place to read
the French-language originals if you want: LINK TO SOME OF HIS POEMS
Thanks for reading and I hope
you like these translations of Apollinaire's poems.
The poet himself.
Translations of poems by Guillaume Apollinaire
With his four camels
Don Pedro d'Alfaroubeira
traveled the world and admired it.
He did what I would have done
had I four camels.
In your ponds and in your fields
Carp of the world I wish you all a long life.
I hope you are forgotten by Death
My sad fish friends.
Trying leads to flying.
Come on poets let's try our best.
The caterpillar has to eat shit
to become the butterfly.
Oh lion, symbol
Of deposed royalty,
No longer free but caged
In Hamburg, surrounded by
Jellyfish faces are lonely
with their violet hair waving.
You dance beneath the storm
And I watch you dance.
Our flies know songs
Gamey flies who are like
Here is the grasshopper.
Soon it will be eaten by Saint John the Apostle.
I wish my macaroni were more like the grasshopper.
Saints don't eat macaroni.
I wish I had a really
plus a cat stalking my bookshelves
also friends the whole summer long
if not I'll probably die
Dolphins frolic in the sea
but the water is full of plastic.
Will I ever be happy like the dolphins?
Life is complete shit.