'One can only marvel at the instinct of Parisian painters to keep their art in the hands of poets' - Robert Motherwell. At the height of the Cubist movement in Paris, no fewer than fifteen significant poets kept company with the painters. 'Every writer had his painter', said Blaise Cendrars. 'I myself had Delaunay and Leger, Max Jacob had Picasso, Reverdy Braque, and Apollinaire had everybody'. The painters illustrated the poets' poems and painted their portraits; the poets wrote the painters' praise and defended them in journalistic wars. They loaned each other money, gave shelter to each other in times of need, inspired each other, and fortified each other's resolve through thick and thin. "The Cubist Poets in Paris" evokes the capital city of Cubism in all its flamboyant bustle.It includes groups of poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Albert-Birot, Blaise Cendrars, Jean Cocteau, Sonia Delaunay, Paul Dermee, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, Charlotte Gardelle, Vicente Huidobro, Max Jacob, Marie Laurencin, Helene Baronne d'Oettingen, Raymond Radiguet, Pierre Reverdy, and Andre Salmon. Each poem is presented in French and in English translation.
Fifteen illustrations suggest the painters' close ties with the poets, including works by Juan Gris, Giorgio de Chirico, and Leopold Suvage. LeRoy C. Breunig has taught at Cornell University, Harvard, Columbia University, and at Barnard College, where he was Dean of Faculty and interim president. He has edited Guillaume Apollinaire's Chroniques d'art and Apollinaire on Art. His articles have appeared in "Mercure de France", "Comparative Literature", and "Yale French Studies".