Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Collaboration with Margaret & Lolamouse

Greetings, Toads!

Don't you think that reality is overrated?  If so, today's "In  Tandem" is for you.  Instead of "getting real", Margaret and I thought we'd get a bit surreal on all of you.

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920's and is best known for its visual artworks and writings.  The aim was to "resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality."  Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself (source).  Surrealist works often contained bewildering elements, non sequitur, and unexpected connections.

Surrealistic poetry can take several forms.  Margaret and I decided to try a collaboration based on an old parlour game called "Exquisite Corpse" in which a group of people each take a turn adding toa drawing or poem, some of which remains hidden until the end.  Here is a link if you'd like a more thorough history and explanation:  exquisite corpse

For our collaboration, I wrote two lines of poetry but sent only the second line to Margaret.  (In person, this would be accomplished by just folding over the paper to cover the first line.)  Having seen only my second line, Margaret wrote two more lines to develop the poem, sending only her second line back to me.  The poem went back and forth between us, each of us adding to the poem while only seeing part of what was written before.  The final result is a surrealist poem that contains not just our two individual voices but our collective voice.

Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara, Valentine Hugo, Greta Knutson, c. 1933
Withdrawal

Feed me with your words.
I am empty and hunger for
sustenance, an approving glance,
like a child in a candy store.

I want to taste your poetry in my mouth
suck the sweetness.  The lollipop
dissolves; your tongue has silenced,
leaving me sink, swim, or belly flop.

Instead, I float,
gaze at the pallid sun,
surrender addiction
to the abyss, pleasantly undone.

Words and images tumble, crash like meteors
then reassemble.  Meaning and metaphor
entwine, become a red balloon I release,
watch soar, disappear beyond the sandy shore.

by Margaret Bednar and Sheri (lolamouse) Tardio


23 comments:

Akila G said...

This is a wonderful collaboration! Opens up to perspectives of the other poet as well - a bit of one, a it of other and a total picture!

The word play is superb here!

Kay L. Davies said...

Sorry about that coming through twice. I tried to delete it and it said, "Comment deleted" but it lied. Then it told me I didn't have access to deleting it.
Sigh.
K

Kay L. Davies said...

So, it got deleted twice. It was complimentary and full of lah-di-dah phrases, believe me.
Great job. I loved it. Would never have picked it out as a collaboration.
K

Vandana Sharma said...

yes it gives a new wonderful effect and great inventiveness:)

Susan said...

As usual with the "exquisite corpse," the unity that emerges is AMAZING and in this case even more so because you knew where the poem ended instead of adding and adding. Your essay describing surrealism is wonderful--it makes me want to play too--and the poem! Poetry as candy to dive into, to dissolve "pleasantly" and then to "reassemble" and release. Powerful! Possible! I love it.

Marian said...

whoosh, what a beautiful poem. so excellent!

Helen said...

I love LOVE this .. what a great way to collaborate. Trust must be essential. You two poets managed it beautifully.

Mama Zen said...

This is SO cool!

Lolamouse said...

Glad you all enjoyed being surreal! This poem was so much fun to write with Margaret, and then she topped herself by creating the image at the bottom!

LV said...

Giid job. You have a great way with words.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow!! This whole concept just blows me away! I read the poem first as a whole then again - focusing on the second lines and responses to see how the poem developed - Amazing!

Thank you for your informative introduction, and the photos really add the finishing touch.

Ella said...

I love what you two have created~
Visually stunning-I have to read it again! I agree I am blown away :D

humbird said...

Love it! We play at school a lot this game...:)

hedgewitch said...

You know I love the surrealists, and this sounds like such a creative and fun way to collaborate--enjoyed it much, ladies--and I say let that red balloon go flying. ;_)

Grace said...

Love the surrealist theme, pictures, writing process and final product ~ Beautiful ladies, cheers from BC ~

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

So beautiful! Especially the last 2 stanzas for me--congratulations to both of you!

Mary said...

Just beautiful work, Ladies!

Self Sagacity said...

Awesome post. I love the poem.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a WAY COOL way to collaborate. I am so impressed though am not sure how you managed such unison of voice, and RHYMING when alternating lines in such a way. It reads like one voice, it has depth and rhyme and meter, it kicks Surrealism's ASS, and then it gets topped off by a fantastic image.

Wow.

Margaret said...

Did Sherry just say "ass" ? Ha. High praise indeed. Thank you all for the enthusiastic response and thanks to Sheri (Lolamouse) for the surrealistic approach

Grace said...

I thought I already commented ~ Here it is again ~ I love the process, pictures, surreal theme and final outcome ~ Well done ladies ~

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Amazing how this came together. If I hadn't read how it was written, I would never have thought lines were hidden before writing the next lines!

Hannah said...

I LOVE the process you chose to develop this collaboration and the outcome is spectacular!! Outstanding job, ladies!! Thank you!