Isaac Lange was born into a Jewish family from Alsace. After his father's death when he was six years old, his mother took him to live with relatives in Metz, where he became bilingual in French and German. He studied the University of Strasbourg as well as in Freiburg and Munich. At the outbreak of World War I, he escaped to Switzerland to avoid conscription into the army, and became friends in Zurich with the Dadaist artists, in particular Hans Arp. In 1917, he met Klara Aischmann -- later Claire Goll -- and they moved to Paris, marrying in 1921. Yvan Goll worked as a translator into German of French works such as Blaise Cendrars and into French of German works such as Georg Kaiser's Fire at the Opera. He and Claire befriended many artists; Marc Chagall illustrated a collection of love poems by both Golls, and Pablo Picasso illustrated Yvan's Élégie d'Ihpetonga suivi des masques de cendre. Nazi persecution forced the Golls to flee to the USA in 1939; they returned to Paris after the war. Love Poems, written with his wife Claire, appeared in 1947. Goll's final works were written in German rather than French, and collected under the title Traumkraut.