Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

(10 seconds - animated-gif - Apollinaire alive: click image), film dated August 1, 1914. Apollinaire (with hat) and André Rouveyre. Guillaume Apollinaire in gesprek met zijn vriend André Rouveyre. Apollinaire is de man met hoed.


le Bestiaire, ou Cortège d'Orphée (1911, gravures Raoul Dufy)


Click the miniature woodcuts to read the poems (with translation into Dutch and English + discussion)


Nederlands   English

In le Bestiaire, ou Cortège d'Orphée staat Orpheus centraal, de mythische dichter die de natuur met zijn zang aan zich onderwerpt (vandaar de subtitel; le cortège d'Orphée: de processie, de stoet van Orpheus), maar welk een vreemde natuur is dit en wat een eigenaardige dichter. 4x treedt Orpheus op, 26 'dieren' (nou ja?) passeren de revue. De os is geen os, maar een cherub, het paard is Pegasus en wat te denken van de Medusa-kwal... Hoe langer je ernaar kijkt hoe intrigerender de gedichten (en de gravures) worden. Vandaar een complete editie met vertaling in het Nederlands en het Engels, incl. enig commentaar.  


Verder geldt: Don't underestimate Apollinaire !

NIeuwsgierig geworden ? Lees wat zijn vertaler (J.P. van der Sterre) vertelt op de Meanderwebsite


The Bestiaire ou Cortège d'Orphée (Bestiary, or Orpheus' Parade) is a bibliophile album of 30 short poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (text) and Raoul Dufy (woodcuts). It was published in 1911.

In 1906, Pablo Picasso, a friend of Appolinaire's had made some experimental woodcuts of animals, but had no time (or was not interested) to provide 30 woodcuts for the edition of 1911.

In this costly "multi-media" edition 26 animals (real and mythical as in medieval Bestiaries, full of symbolism) form the parade, organised by Orpheus plucking his lyre (the Orpharion, made of a tortoise-shell - of course one of the animals poetised and imagined). Orpheus himself is the subject of four poems and definitely the alter-ego of Apollinaire.

You can admire and read them one by one using the thumbnails below. Apollinaire was fond of music (hence the link to Poulencs musical miniatures) and liked playing with words..





  The six (+2+1+1) poems set to music by Francis Poulenc (text, image, audio)
  -  On a separate page the four poems (+1) with Orpheus as subject (or  below the bestiary thumbnails)

  -  Apollinaire added notes to his poems. They are added to the relevant pages.

The poems and engravings in alphabetical order, with original notes (by Apollinaire) and translation into English & Nederlands. Clicking the thumbnail opens the page...


Le Boeuf

La Carpe

Le Chat

La Chénille

Le Cheval

La Chèvre
de Tibet

La Colombe


Le Dauphin

Le Dromadaire L'écrevisse


Le Hibou


Le Lapin

Le Lièvre

Le Lion

La Mëduse

La Mouche

Le Paon Le Poulpe

La Puce




La Sauterelle

Le Serpent

Les Sirènes

La Souris

La Tortue





The four poems figuring the mythical poet Orpheus