Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was a key voice in the early twentieth-century movement toward surrealism and futurism. Best known for his poetry, especially his volumes Alcools and Calligrammes, Apollinaire wrote both clear traditional, although unpunctuated, lyrics and avant-garde poems that took imaginative and creative risks. His circle included such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Rousseau, and Marcel Duchamp as well as poets Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob, and Pierre Reverdy. Born in Rome of a Polish mother and an unidentified man, Apollinaire traveled widely through Europe, and eventually made France his home. In 1914, he joined the French army, volunteering to defend his adopted country during World War I. He engaged in active combat and suffered a head wound in 1916. He never fully recovered from the head wound and died of influenza in 1918.
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