Thread: Apollinaire
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Unread 08-12-2018, 03:48 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,775

Ungaretti was not a Futurist though he was in Paris then and knew them. He was one of the first Italian "Hermetic" (very compressed and elliptical) poet and one of the originators of Modernist poetry in Italy.

Here’s a bit from my introduction to U.’s Selected Poems (published in 2002):

Ungaretti was in Paris for less than two years, but that was long enough for him to refer to that time, more than fifty years later, as his cultural and social coming-of-age. He attended Henri Bergson’s and other lectures at the Sorbonne, became a close friend of Apollinaire, and came into regular contact with the major exponents of the avant-garde: Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Giorgio De Chirico, Max Jacob, and others. Having become friendly with the Futurists Giovanni Papini, Aldo Palazzeschi, and Soffici, he was invited to collaborate with them on their new journal, Lacerba, where Ungaretti first published his poems. Lacerba, edited in Milan, and La Voce, in Florence, were the main organs for the earliest stages of Italian modernism.
And here’s U.'s prose bit (not a poem) about him learning A. had died:

Some days before the Armistice, when it was already predicted, I’d been sent to Paris to take part in a magazine for soldiers of our army corps. The magazine was called Sempre Avanti! Apollinaire had asked me to bring some boxes of Tuscan cigars, and, just having arrived in Paris, I hurried to the house of my friend. I found Apollinaire dead, his face covered by a black cloth, and his wife crying, and his mother crying.

Along the streets they were shouting, “A mort Guillaume!” Apollinaire, too, by heartbreaking coincidence, was named William, like the defeated kaiser.
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