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Guillevic's Geometries

"Who knew a poet could wrestle such sexy moves from old Euclid's boxy shapes!"


"Who knew a poet could wrestle such sexy moves from old Euclid's boxy shapes!" Pierre Joris

Guillevic wrote Geometries (Euclidiennes in French) in the early sixties, encouraged by his friend, the poet André Frenaud, who recognized in his poetry an inclination toward mathematics, and more specifically geometry. Guillevic places a series of geometrical figures before our eyes, as they might appear in a schoolchild’s primer, paired with poems that let us hear how these forms might speak. These talking circles, squares and angles—these articulations of space—are in turn meant to remind us of our own figures of speech. Guillevic’s Geometries fits into the 1960s return to emblems, signs, and playful constraints both in art (Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and even Andy Warhol) and in writing (the Noigandres poets, Oulipo, Eugen Gomringer, the Robert Creeley of Pieces). But at the same time, the Euclidean world of forms here explored remains as timeless as the stones of Guillevic’s own Carnac.