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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Tyrion Lannister (spoilers)

I love the Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones TV series. Like many thousands of people, Tyrion Lannister is my favourite character. So far, his story in the books is more exciting than in the TV show, but that’s like saying that peanut butter is better than Nutella; Nutella is still fantastic.

Varys and Tyrion Lannister (Conleth Hill and Peter Dinklage) were last seen in Meereen, trying to rule the city with Grey Worm and Missandei in the absence of Daenerys Targaryen.
Varys and Tyrion Lannister (Conleth Hill and Peter Dinklage) were last seen in Meereen, trying to rule the city with Grey Worm and Missandei in the absence of Daenerys Targaryen.

HBO have released a series of photos from the next series, suggesting that Tyrion will still be in Meereen. He will apparently be visited by Kinvara, a new red priestess, who will offer assistance in the ruling of Meereen now that Daenerys has done a runner on her dragon. I must admit, I’m not ecstatic about another red priestess… We shall see.

The teaser trailer also seems to show a dead Tyrion (and Jon Snow), but I don’t buy this just yet.

There are many theories floating around about what might be revealed in series 6, one of which is that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen. Tywin once told Tyrion: “Mens’ laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colours since I cannot prove that you are not mine.” I’m not sure I want this to be true – it’s not exciting enough. Although Tyrion does deserve a dragon of his own.

“I think Tyrion can be the most relatable to the modern sensibility because he’s not a hero and not a villain. He has a sense of humour even in the worst of times. Who relates to Ned Stark? Is he anybody sitting at the dinner table? But Tyrion is one of the dinner party.” – Peter Dinklage, taken from this great Guardian interview.

Peter Dinklage with his wife, theatre director Erica Schmidt, in New York in 2013. Photograph: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
Peter Dinklage with his wife, theatre director Erica Schmidt, in New York in 2013. Photograph: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Let’s face it, George R.R. Martin knows that Tyrion is the world’s favourite character, so he’s probably not going to do too well in the end…

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