Bestiary, or The Parade of Orpheus, by Guillaume Apollinaire

Apollinaire's Bestiary

The poet includes himself in this procession:
weaver of myths, an octopus spraying ink,
heedless of the microscopic wonders
swarming Orpheus, and more akin
to the quicksilver god who first made a lyre
out of that solid citizen the tortoise.


When the poet writes like crayfish,
we advance backwards,
he must’ve meant
the artist, far from a Cubist
and farther still from Fabre and his farm.


The reader follows unmentioned at the rear,
still chuckling at that line about the peacock
whose magnificent display entails baring his ass.
With the addition of this volume it grows
more colorful than ever, my wall of books.

(I’m reading a book a day for National Poetry Month; click on the book cover to go to its page in Open Library. The podcast will return next week.)

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