Sunday, 15 April 2018

Le pont Mirabeau, Paris - the bridge of Guillaume Apollinaire

Pont Mirabeau by Paul Signac
The Pont Mirabeau across the Seine on the west side of Paris, has been the inspiration of many artists, among them the painter Paul Signac, and the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. 

Apollinaire's poem, Le Pont Mirabeau, was first published in February 1912, and was inspired by the departure of his muse Marie Laurencin, and is 'the sad song of that long, broken affair'. 

The poetic fusion of the images, together with the idea of the fluid movement of the verses, make the poem perfectly harmonious by its simplicity and its purity. 

[First verse below]

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
          Et nos amours
     Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

          Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
          Les jours s'en vont je demeure

The Muse inspiring the Poet
(Marie Laurencin and Apollinaire)
Painting by Douanier Rousseau (1909)

The bridge was constructed between 1893 and 1896 and is now designated a monument of historic interest.

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