April 7, 2007

Tristan Tzara. "Note on Poetry." Seven DaDa Manifestos and Lampisteries. Trans and ed. Barbara Wright. Edison, NJ: Riverrun, 1992. 75-8.
"A poem is no longer a formal act: subject, rhythm, rhyme, sonority. When projected on to everyday life, these can become means, whose use is neither regulated nor recorded, to which I attach the same weight as I do the crocodile, to burning metals, or to grass. Eye, water, equilibrium, sun, kilometre, and everything that I can imagine as belonging together and which represents a potential human asset, is sensitivity. The elements love to be closely associated, truly hugging each other, like the cerebral hemispheres and the cabins of transatlantic liners.
Rhythm is the gait of the intonations we hear, but there is a rhythm that we neither see nor hear: the radius of an internal grouping that leads towards a constellation of order. Up to now, rhythm has been the beating of a dried-up heart, a little tinkle in putrid, padded wood. I don't want to put fences round what people call principles, when what is at stake is freedom. But the poet will have to be demanding towards his own work in order to discover its real necessity: order, essential and pure, will flower from this asceticism -- (Goodness without a sentimental echo, its material side.)
To be demanding and cruel, pure and honest towards the work one is preparing and which one will be situating amongst men, new organisms, creations that live in the very bones of light and in the imaginitive forms that actions will take -- (REALITY.)
The rest, called literature, is a dossier of human imbecility for the guidance of future professors" (76-7, writ 1919).



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