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A Ghost of Clouds. No place or date [1913].
Autograph manuscript signed "Guillaume Apollinaire", 4 pages on 4 leaves in-4 mounted on tabs: modern binding in cream half-calf à la Bradel, title in full.
Important autograph manuscript signed. The poem was collected in Calligrammes.
Working manuscript, on water green paper: with numerous corrections and a few additions, it offers variations from the printed version - notably the original title, crossed out:
Nuage. The latter echoed the last line:
Siècle ô siècle des nuages.
Unpublished manuscript, the only one in existence: it notably escaped the editors of the OEuvres poétiques complètes de la Pléiade.
Un fantôme de nuées had first appeared in Les Écrits français (No. 1, 1913), then in Le Nouvel
Imagier (1914-1918), before being inserted in Calligrammes (1918).
The poem is devoid of punctuation, according to the poet's custom. When it was first published in
Les Écrits français, it was punctuated, causing the poet to make the following statement in the next issue of the periodical: "M. Guillaume Apollinaire regrets that the typographers of this review, "who are not yet used to his habits", have added a parasitic punctuation to his poem
Un Fantôme de Nuées." (Apollinaire, OEuvres poétiques complètes, p. 1077: "André Billy has related that Apollinaire, writing a short story intended for Excelsior, had written in prose the lines that form the first ten lines of this poem; then, "not knowing what to say, he appealed to his demon, and the short story turned into a poem.")
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