Literary

The Monday Poem – for Gopi

for Gopi – a Fluxus chance poem

 

Both spiritual and material. Above, loudly chant the glories of

a small group of English men of

destiny only

to worship with him.

Some to serve as a

considered entity,

surrender until

performed through this

hero

Chance Operations are methods of generating poetry independent of the author’s will. A chance operation can be almost anything from throwing darts and rolling dice, to the ancient Chinese divination method, I-Ching, and even sophisticated computer programs. Most poems created by chance operations use some original text as their source, be it the newspaper, an encyclopedia, or a famous work of literature. The purpose of such a practice is to play against the poet’s intentions and ego, while creating unusual syntax and images. The resulting poems allow the reader to take part in producing meaning from the work. The roots of using chance operations to generate poetry are generally traced to the Dada movement in Western Europe in the early and mid-twentieth-century, involving writers such as André Breton, Louis Aragon, Tristan Tzara, Philippe Soupault, and Paul Éluard. The Dadaists were deeply interested in the subconscious, and they believed that the mind would create associations and meaning from any text, including those generated through random selections. Poets.org

I have been creating visual art and poetry using chance methods for years. The above poem uses a random number system and takes words from a beautiful book about The Gopis’ Song Of Separation.

Sometimes I use news articles, works of fiction or song lyrics. Which one is of course left to chance. I’d be quite happy to share the instructions on how to create a piece if anyone is interested, or you can develop your own system!

Examining the Odd is the perfect place to share chance art in any form, so please get in touch if you make your own and you want to share it.

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