Pablo Picasso is arguably one of the worlds most influential artist of the 20th century. We all know of his significance in co-founding cubism with close friend and fellow artist Georges Braque. We know of his different periods such as the "Blue" period and the "Rose" period. We know of his prolific career as an artist which spans nearly 75 years while producing an estimated 13,500 paintings, 100,000 graphic prints or engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 sculptures and ceramic. But did you know Picasso also wrote poetry?
Picasso is known to have an infinity for poetry especially writers, dating back to his early days in Paris when he surrounded himself with poets, including Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, André Breton, and Jean Cocteau. These relationships provided Picasso with continuous insight into the world of contemporary European poetry. But it wasn't until 1935 when Picasso was 54 years old, and his personal life and visual arts were at a stalemate, that Picasso decided to attempt poetry.
This led to Picasso having nearly a 25 year affair with poetry and in one poem Picasso wrote:
"I walk a lonely road, the one and only one I’ve ever known.
I don’t know where it goes, but I keep walking on and on.
I walked the lonely and untrodden road for I was walking
on the bridge of the broken dreams.
I don’t know what the world is fighting for or why I am being instigated.
It’s for this that I walk this lonely road for I wish to be alone.
So I am breaking up, breaking up.
It is the lack of self control that I feared as there is something
Inside me that pulls the need to surface, consuming, confusing.
being called weird I walk this lonely road on the verge of broken dreams.
And so i walk this lonely road and so just keep walking still..."
A Lonely Road Is That I Walked - Pablo Picasso
It is not uncommon for artist to experiment with different mediums or even different forms of art. But it is interesting that Picasso who is widely known as an amazing visual artist, was also a very talented writer. Picasso's poems were similar to his paintings being that they were difficult to penetrate and interpret. He typically did not follow traditional standards in regards to grammar or structure, thus causing his poems to be a cluster of words, ideas and emotions. Needless to say, it is pretty extraordinary how Picasso never limited himself to just one medium, one style or even one form of art; and that is something to admire.