Love and War in the Poetry of Guillaume Apollinarie, 1880-1918

Taylor, Alan

About the work

Guillaume Apollinaire was one of the founders of the modern movement in poetry, and made his innovations in the pre-First World War Paris of Picasso and Stravinsky, whom he knew. Poetry with no punctuation, or written as visual images, were among his innovations, made necessary by his new subject matters. He also wrote while fighting in the trenches in the World War, sending poems on postcards to friends. He died in the ‘flu epidemic which followed the war. ’Le Pont Mirabeau’ is an intensely romantic poem of lost love, traditional in its form, and described as the most recent poem which French school children were required to learn by heart. ’Cornflower (1917)’ arose from his experiences of trench warfare. The cornflower is a symbol in France equivalent to the poppy in Britain. ’It’s Raining’ was written as a series of irregular vertical lines down the page, in the visual image of falling rain.

First performance: Cornelius Cardew Ensemble, Jul 1998, concert at CoMA Summer School, Bretton Hall, Yorkshire

Technical notes

The piece requires performers to use their skill to develop ideas or improvise to a limited extent. It could be played by skilled players as soloists, or by less skilled players as a larger ensemble. Percussion required: snare drum, bass drum, floor tom, cymbal, large triangle, orchestral chimes or glockenspiel, xylophone, timpani sticks. Expressionistic and emotional style.


Call for Pieces Entry: Cornelius Cardew Ensemble,CoMA Summer School 1998


score & parts

Sorry, Not Available


8m 00s




Voices and Instruments


fl, tpt, vc, perc, pf, female and male voices


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