“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918) was an influential French author and art critic dying young during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. He coined the term Orphism describing it as "the art of painting new totalities with elements that the artist does not take from visual reality but creates entirely by himself.” The name refers to Orpheus, the poet and singer of Greek mythology who was symbolic of the ideal.
In 1918 Apollinaire invented the calligram, an entirely new type of poem which consisted of words arranged in such a way as to create an image that enhanced the meaning of the poem itself creating a union of poetry with the visual arts; Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War 1913-1916. According to Willard Bohn, a calligram is "visual poetry defined as poetry that is meant to be seen – poetry that presupposes a viewer as well as a reader." In a school environment, this form of poetry is referred to as shape or concrete poetry.
Although identified as French, Guillaume Apollinaire was born in Rome, Italy on August 26, 1880, hiding his ancestry as it was thought that he was the illegitimate child of Angelica Kostrowitzky, a Polish woman, and an Italian army officer. In 1899, he moved to Paris where he became influential in the avant-garde movements in French literature and art. In 1914, Apollinaire decided to become a French national by enlisting in the infantry during World War I.
Life Lesson: Until you spread your wings you have no idea how far you'll fly. “Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”