Publication Date

April 2017


Michael Meere


French Studies, College of Letters


English (United States)


This project concerns the translation of three of Guillaume Apollinaire’s calligrams – an early 20th-century form of visual poetry – across language, time, space, and body. It uses a phenomenological framework to read both creatively and critically, establishing a clear subject at the heart of the reading process. It draws a link between poststructural theory’s emphasis on the reader and the role played by the translator, a subjective being who forms a unique and reciprocal relationship with the text. This project comments on the current state of the field of translation, and offers both critique and change. It also includes new works of poetry by the author, as a means of articulating the exploration of both text and self, spurred by the act of reading and translating. The calligram is a unique medium through which this process takes place, facilitating the translational exchange between poem and reader. This project offers readings of the following calligrams: “La mandoline l’œillet et le bambou,” “La cravate et la montre,” and “Il pleut.”



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