This week’s poem is Dadaist Tristan Tzara’s Cinema Calendar Of The Abstract Heart. I hope it inspires you!
Cinema Calendar Of The Abstract Heart
the fibres give in to your starry warmth
a lamp is called green and sees
carefully stepping into a season of fever
the wind has swept the rivers’ magic
and i’ve perforated the nerve
by the clear frozen lake
has snapped the sabre
but the dance round terrace tables
shuts in the shock of the marble shudder
Tristan Tzara was a Romanian and French avant-garde poet, essayist and performance artist. Also active as a journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director, he was known best for being one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement. – Wikipedia
Hans when he spoke in German and Jean when in French, either way, Mr Arp had some wise words to share.
Jean Arp, reproduced in 391, No. 8, Zurich, February 1919
the streams buck like rams in a tent
whips crack and from the hills come the crookedly combed
shadows of the shepherds.
black eggs and fools’ bells fall from the trees.
thunder drums and kettledrums beat upon the ears of the donkeys.
wings brush against flowers.
fountains spring up in the eyes of the wild boar.
– Dada poetry lines from his poem ‘Der Vogel Selbdritt‘, Jean / Hans Arp – first published in 1920; as quoted in Gesammelte Gedichte I (transl. Herbert Read), p. 41
As the thought comes to me to exorcise and transform this black with a white drawing, it has already become a surface.. .Now I have lost all fear, and begin to draw on the black surface.
– Hans Arp’s quote on drawing on the black surface; as quoted in Search for the Real, Hans Hofmann, Addison Gallery of modern Art, 1948
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.
I hereby declare that on February 8th, 1916, Tristan Tzara discovered the word DADA. I was present with my twelve children when Tzara pronounced for the first time this word which has aroused in us such legitimate enthusiasm. This took place at the Café Terrasse in Zurich, and I wore a brioche in my left nostril. I am convinced that this word has no importance and that only imbeciles and Spanish professors can be interested in dates. What interests us is the Dada spirit and we were all Dada before the existence of Dada. The first Holy Virgins I painted date from 1886, when I was a few months old and amused myself by pissing graphic impressions. The morality of idiots and their belief in geniuses makes me shit.
– ‘Declaration’, Jean (Hans) Arp, October 1921
for Gopi – a Fluxus chance poem
Both spiritual and material. Above, loudly chant the glories of
a small group of English men of
to worship with him.
Some to serve as a
performed through this
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.