“Bleuet” (Francis Poulenc), written in 1939, setting a text by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) written in 1917.
This extraordinary song links the twin catastrophes of World War I and World War II. Italian born Guillaume Apollinaire fought in World War I and, in 1916, received a serious shrapnel wound to the temple, from which he would never fully recover. The war-weakened Apollinaire died of influenza during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Shortly before his death he wrote a poem, which, despite [read more…]