18 julio, 2024

cubist poems by famous authors

The cubist poems They had their highest representative in the figure of Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), a French poet who adapted pictorial cubism to literature. He contributed the surreal way of writing, breaking the syntax and logical structure in his poems, making use of and giving leading importance to color, typography, drawings made with words and letters of different shapes, voids, etc.

This is called calligrams or ideograms, and is what is currently known as visual poetry. Cubism was born in France at the beginning of the 20th century, having its maximum representation in painting, but it also influenced all branches of art.

It was an artistic current that drastically and forcefully broke the established canons.

List of representative poems of cubism

Recognize yourself (Guillaume Apollinaire)

This poem, written in the form of a calligram, is arranged around the figure of his beloved reproduced in a photograph.

In it you can see him wearing a straw hat that a beginning designer had made very fashionable at that time: Coco Chanel.

Its translation is more or less as follows: Recognize yourself, this beautiful person is you, under the hat. Your exquisite neck (forms the neck and left shoulder). And this is finally, the imperfect image, image of your adored bust seen through a cloud (right part of her body), a little further down is your beating heart (left part of the body).

Horse (Guillaume Apollinaire)

Actually, this calligram is part of a series of letters that Apollinaire and his lover Lou exchanged during World War I, in which the poet served.

They were fiery and highly erotic letters and poems, which when they came to light caused a stir and censorship.

The dagger (José Juan Tablada)

Tablada was a Mexican writer and poet who developed his prolific material around the time of the Mexican Revolution. With an avant-garde orientation, he cultivated haiku (Japanese poetry) and also ideograms, influenced by Apollinaire.

Girandula (Guillermo de la Torre)

De la Torre was a Spanish poet who was born at the beginning of the 20th century and who was married to the sister of the Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges.

Shrinking text (Guillermo Cabrera Infante)

Cuban writer born in 1929. Film critic and journalist, diplomat in the first years of the Castro government, later a dissident, asylum seeker and British national. He passed away in 2005.

Havana print (Jose Juan Tablada)

The stabbed dove and the fountain (Guillaume Apollinaire)

Sweet stabbed figures, expensive flowery lips,
where are you girls
BUT near a fountain that cries and prays,
this dove was ecstatic.

All the memories of yesteryear
Oh my friends you went to war
They sprout towards the firmament
And your looks in the sleeping water
They die sadly.

Where are Braque and Max Jacob
Derain of the eyes gray as dawn?
Where are Raynal, Billy, Dalize
Whose names are melancholy
How do you step into a church?
Where is Cremnitz who enlisted?
maybe they are already dead
My soul is full of memories
The pump cries over my sorrow

Night falls oh bloody sea
Gardens where the laurel rosy flower warrior bleeds profusely

Paris (Guillaume Apollinaire)

A poem written following the silhouette of the popular Eiffel Tower. Here it is translated into Spanish.

The moon (José Juan Tablada)

The black night is sea,

the cloud is a shell,

the moon is a pearl

Express (Vicente Huidobro)

I would make a crown

Of all the cities visited

London Madrid Paris

Rome Naples Zurich

They whistle on the plains

Seaweed Covered Locomotives

no one has found here

of all the rivers navigated

I would make myself a necklace

The Amazon The Seine

The Thames The Rhine

hundred wise craft

that have folded their wings

And my orphan sailor song

Saying goodbye to the beaches

Inhale the scent of Monte Rosa

Braid the wandering gray hairs of Monte Blanco

And on the Zenith of Mount Cenis

Ignite in the dying sun

the last cigarette

A whistle pierces the air

It’s not a water game


humpbacked apennines

They march into the desert

the stars of the oasis

They will give us honey from their dates

In the mountain

The wind makes the rigging rustle

And all the dominated mountains

well charged volcanoes

They will raise the anchor.

Tertulia del Pompo (Guillermo de la Torre)

This cafe has something of a talanquera

and third-class wagon.

There is not much tobacco and it makes a lot of smoke.

I -the ninth Spanish poet- presume

in front of the mayor of the harvest, who mourns his gray hair

(eleven piastres of ink every week).

Fan. Portuguese.

Seville accent, golden city!

And of my Bilbao stoker.


Latte, half and half.

Llovet yells. Calla Bacarisse.

Solana consecrates.

If Peñalver speaks, it seems that a hinge opens.

Leon Felipe, duel!

Does not have





nor grandfather;

Duel! Duel! Duel!

I give you comfort







Monsieur Lasso de la Vega.

Il vient de diner a l’Hôtel Ritz.

Il sait bien son role.

Et il porte sa fleur.



In the corners some couples

security and yellow ladies

they look at Torre and shudder

the guards and the old

he quotes them to banderillas

with ears.

endless discussion

about whether Valle Inclán is ultraist

what if potato

what if potato

At the counter a trill bell rings.

trill. trill. triinn.

a few pay and all leave.

. Silence, shadow, cockroaches under the divan.

The islands arose from the ocean (Guillermo Cabrera Infante)

The islands rose from the ocean, first as isolated islets, then the keys became mountains and the low waters valleys. Later the islands came together to form one large island which soon turned green where it was not gold or reddish. The small islands continued to emerge, now made keys and the island became an archipelago: a long island next to a large round island surrounded by thousands of small islands, islets and even other islands. But since the long island had a defined shape, it dominated the whole and no one has seen the archipelago, preferring to call the island an island and forget about the thousands of keys, islets, islets that border the large island like clots of a long green wound.

There is the island, still rising from between the ocean and the gulf: there it is.

Sea foam poems (Juan Gris, painter)

You whistled a night, slipped,

still lifes, hidden guitars

pipe and mandolin bows,

abysses between face and face.

In the eyes of a sitting woman

you dream of Paris in its monochrome,

music, painters and poetry,

and their segmented gray dwellings.

You broke down from the windows

gray and ocher on cut paper,

you gave volume by folding hinges.

You took care of verses by Manuel Machado,

that no one deprive them of their «Soul».

You made a escaped man’s war.

The bottle of anise in the still lifes of Juan Gris (Juan Gris)

Those were the times of the anise of the monkey

and the intoxication of costumbrismo.

The painting, as is. with cubism

the aniseed bottle changed tone.

Juan Gris was his dealer and patron.

First lady of still life,

the bottle of anise is no longer the same

sitting among colors on her throne.

A table, a blue, or just nothing,

than painting when it is invented

It’s more beautiful upside down.

And, fully intellectualized,

the bottle of anise listens attentively

what a French newspaper says.

I and II (Pablo Picasso, painter)


I saw leave


of the concert

in the Gaveau room

to the last


and then I walked away down the same street and went to the tobacconist’s

look for matches


mirror in your cork frame thrown into the sea between the waves you do not see only the lightning the sky and the clouds with your mouth open ready to swallow the sun but if a bird passes by and for an instant lives in your gaze instantly runs out of eyes fallen into the blind sea and what laughter at that precise moment sprout from the waves.

The City (Max Jacob)

Do not stop

cloud over the horrible city

everything there feels the fish

asphalt and groceries.

beautiful silver cloud

don’t stop over town

look at those people

Can you see more vile faces?

they have not stolen

nor have they killed their brothers

but they are ready for it.

The blue says up there

Glitter for flowers and herbs

and for the birds

Shine for the superb trees.

shine for the saints

for the children, for the innocent

for those I pity

for living with the fratricides.

For them the Eternal Father

gave splendor to the fields

for them is heaven

Consolation of the Humble.

Gates of Hell (Max Jacob)

The hunting horn calls like a bell

Just like a color in the woods.

The far horn of rock-shaped trees.

It’s the hunt for the unicorn

Come with us, we are your friends.

The path is marked by the horse

and the saddle

horse and saddle tied to trees.

They sit at the table in front of the house.

everyone gets to their liking

to eat lobster and mayonnaise

Come! your friends call you

But I heard screams coming from the house

and then they sat me down before shiny bottles

I realized that I didn’t know anyone.

And those screams of pain that came from the house

they mixed with the talks, with the songs.

In the distance the rooster crowed like a laugh.

My good angel whispered in my ear: be careful!

Too late, the earth trembled under my feet.

Lord, help me, help me, my God!

A madman gone mad (Francis Picabia)

The moon has gone to bed in a chimney

it was cold in the street

i hear the rain

I’m sitting waiting for nothing

I have found one

I am looking for two

two leaves for the crown

of inheritance

of the lonely ghost

that crawls towards love

to empty my heart

Vreneli (Francis Picabia)

Vreneli’s room

in which we lived

had pink wallpaper

a peach damask tufted bed

a pendulum clock marked noon

Or midnight since yesterday

she undressed

a bit like an english

her dress had diagonals

and pictures.

It’s only mine (Marc Chagall, painter)

it’s only mine

the town that is in my soul.

I enter there without a passport

like at home.

he knows my sadness

and my loneliness

He gives me the dream

and covers me with a stone


Gardens bloom in me.

My flowers are invented.

the streets belong to me

but there are no houses;

were from childhood destroyed

Its inhabitants roam the air

looking for accommodation.

But they live in my soul.

That’s why I smile

when my sun barely shines,

or I cry

Like light rain at night.

There was a time when I had two heads.

There was a time when my two faces

they were covered in a steam in love

and vanished like the perfume of a rose.

Today it seems to me

that even when I go back

I go forward

towards a high portal

behind which stand the walls

where extinct thunder sleeps

and folded lightning bolts.

it’s only mine

the town that is in my soul.

To the martyred artists (fragment) (Marc Chagall)

Did I meet them all? I was

to your workshops? did i see your art

near or far?

Now I’m out of myself, out of my time,

I go to his unknown grave,

they call me, they drag me to the bottom

from his hole -to me the innocent- to…

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