30. Guillaume Apollinaire. "Lettre-océan," c. 1914.
Published here in: Michel Décaudin, editor. Oeuvres complètes de Guillaume Apollinaire, vol. 3 (of 4 volumes). Paris: André Balland & Jacques Lecat, 1966. One of 5,500 copies.
Rare Book Collection.

In this (perhaps) more serious poem, Apollinaire paints a picture postcard with words. Literally a description of an ocean voyage to Mexico, the arrangement of the words suggests a distant mountain, cloudy skies, the signs at the post office where he is writing, and the sun reflected in the endless ocean — "TSF" standing for "terre sans frontières," land without borders. In a witty postscript, he ends the poem/postcard with the shape of an arrow taunting the recipient, "you will never really know the Mayans" that Apollinaire has presumably encountered on his voyage.

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