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You know what I stumbled upon today?

Surrealism Poetry.

Can you imagine my excitement? My suddenly, whole-body oscillations? Surrealism plus poetry? That’s what you get when you just start googling nouns in which you’ve got an interest.

Surrealism itself sparks from André Breton’s first Le Manifeste du Surréalisme in 1924; he presents a two-fold definition of surrealism:

SURREALISM, noun, masc., Pure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.

ENCYCL. Philos. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association heretofore neglected, in the omnipotence of the dream, and in the disinterested play of thought. It leads to the permanent destruction of all other psychic mechanisms and to its substitution for them in the solution of the principle problems of life.

The first definition relates to the use of technique in surrealist art forms. The second refers to the grasp of reality a surrealist artist might have.

Surrealist poetry was embodied in the works of French poets Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Pierre Reverdy.


André Breton

excerpt from “Free Union“

My wife with the hair of a wood fire

With the thoughts of heat lightning

With the waist of an hourglass

With the waist of an otter in the teeth of a tiger

My wife with her rosette mouth and a bouquet of stars of the last magnitude

With the teeth of tracks of white mice on the white earth

With the tongue of rubbed amber and glass…

Pierre Unik

excerpt from “The Manless Society“

Morning trickles over the bruised vegetables

like a drop of sweat over the lines of my hand

I crawl over the ground

with stem and wrinkled mouth

the sun swells into the canals of monstrous leaves

which recover cemeteries harbours houses

with the same sticky green zeal

then with disturbing intensity there passes through my mind

the absurdity of human groupings

in these lines of closely packed houses

like the pores of the skin

in the poignant void of terrestrial space…

David Gascoyne

excerpt from “Salvador Dali“

The face of the precipice is black with lovers;

The sun above them is a bag of nails; the spring’s

First rivers hide among their hair.

Goliath plunges his hand into the poisoned well

And bows his head and feels my feet walk through his brain.

The children chasing butterflies turn round and see him there

With his hand in the well and my body growing from his head,

And are afraid. They drop their nets and walk into the wall like smoke…

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