Today’s PAD challenge: Talk back to a dead poet. Choose a poem you like by a poet who is no longer living and offer a rebuttal.
Have you hear of Dadaism? It was invented by Tristen Tzara (1896-1963), a “poet and essayist who lived for the majority of his life in France, he is known mainly as a founder of Dada, a nihilistic revolutionary movement in the arts.”
So, what is Dada? “Dada is nothing; Dada is everything by being nothing. It is impossible to connect it to anything or to relate it to any system, without misrepresenting it. The line of reasoning became: “Dada doubts everything.”
Tzara questioned “language as an agent for communication between individuals.” He questioned the myth of originality, of the artist as genius suggesting instead that everybody should be an artist and that almost anything could be art.”
As for me, I agree that language doesn’t always work but the Dada manifesto doesn’t always work either. Essentially, it is cutting up words out of a published article, tossing them into a bag, pulling out words one by one and Viola! That is your poem.
My retort is not to a poem, per say, but to Dadaism. When attempting to write about a certain subject, randomness doesn’t work. Here’s my “true” Dada, which might not really be true but I played by the rules and it is just a jumble of nothing. (He did say Dada was nothing, didn’t he?)
Knowing that my subject would deal with Memory/Alzheimer’s/dementia, I cut phrases and not words, I manipulated the words, and came up with something that might work as a poem if I played with it some more. I combined two articles actually.
I see value in random selectivity. It’s just word play. I like word play, but Dadaism ain’t cutting it for me as a standard for crafting poetry.
So, Mr. Tristan Tzara, that is my retort.
Today’s challenge completed.