20. Attributed to François Rabelais. "Bottle," c. 1550.
Published here in: Ludovic Lalanne. Curiosités littéraires. Paris: Paulin, Schneider et Langrand, 1845.
Davis Library.

The famous "bottle" poem presented here may not be by Rabelais, but it appears in most printings of the apocryphal Book XV of Gargantua and Pantagruel, and is thus forever linked with him. Beginning and ending with a "cork" that reads, "O bottle, full of mysteries, with one ear I listen to you without delay," this is the sort of cute and "trivial" visual poem that angered many authors of more serious (but less popular) poetry, and eventually led to a backlash against the form. (The poem on the right hand page is a later poem by Panard, inspired by Rabelais.)

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