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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Surrealist Poetry

I have recently been researching surrealist poetry; this is an avant-garde movement covered by poets such as Andre Breton and Frederico Garcia Lorca. It is a wonderful form to write it, and really pushes the imagination. It offers a richness to detail that can light a piece of writing up. Take the opening line of WINK for instance, by Benjamin Peret: ‘parakeets fly through my head when I see you profile.’ Beautiful imagery and yet the concept is utterly surreal.


Gladstone never called back;

His collar was off the chart,

And with an echo of distant thunder

He went and broke my heart.


Poems are hard to write, but they offer an enjoyment that is different to writing novels, which is why I try my hand at any form of poetry that takes my interest. It is the type of writing that can take days to complete, and you have only written three lines, but each line has been thought about clearly. Surrealism takes that a step further, enabling you to really go a little out there when writing the poem. As with free form it does not have to rhyme, and unlike other forms it does not have to make an awful lot of sense. But if you choose to write surrealist poetry, do remember that the reader has to have some idea what is driving your story. It can’t be just a set of words.

I read once that David Bowie used to throw papers with words on up in the air and as they fell he would put them together for song. Why not try that with surrealism poetry. Write down a number of words on individual pieces of paper and then toss them up into the sky, when they fall create a poem out of them however they have landed.

My surrealist piece is called The City of Angels.

Infamous creations in the city of angels

Landed gentry cannot ever deny the space

Between this and the other realms from our land.

If only I could see your face

If only I could see your eyes

If only your face and eyes could be seen.

The city of angels lights up at dusk

And pours a milky glow across the skyline.

Reports of an injustice by celebrities have been

Unconfirmed, but they will still make a film of it.

If only he could hear your voice

If only he could hear your heart

If only his heart and voice could be heard.

Sitting on the banks of the green the

Birds twitter soulfully.

Never before have I questioned

The wren, or the pigeon, but still

They shit all over me…typical.

I only want for an overcoat to ease

The life that is uneasy.

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