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Calligram in French by Guillaume Apollinaire describing and visually representing his lover. Parts of the face's image (such as the hat, eye, nose, mouth, neck) each use words associated specifically with that part.

A calligram is text arranged in such a way that it forms a thematically related image. It can be a poem, a phrase, a portion of scripture, or a single word; the visual arrangement can rely on certain use of the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting, for instance along non-parallel and curved text lines, or in shaped paragraphs. The image created by the words illustrates the text by expressing visually what it says, or something closely associated; it can also, on purpose, show something contradictory with the text or otherwise be misleading.


Guillaume Apollinaire was a famous calligram writer and author of a book of poems called Calligrammes.

José Juan Tablada wrote a book of Spanish-language calligrams.


See also[edit]


  • Deme, Zoltan (1995). "Poem-miniatures". Chords of Scales: Selected Fictions, Essays, and Studies. Warwick Township, N.Y: Universe Pub. ISBN 9635500726. LCCN 2003278749.
  • Kajima, Shōzō (1972). Post-War Japanese Poetry. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0140421459. OCLC 622904. (with many Japanese calligrams)
  • Neef, Sonja A.J. (2000). Kalligramme: Zur Medialität Einer Schrift : Anhand Von Paul Van Ostaijens De Feesten Van Angst En Pijn (in German). Amsterdam: ASCA Press. ISBN 90-76123-04-7.