Some of my favorite poets traffic in surrealism.

I have already mentioned my personal love and affection for Ted Joans (I have smuggled a copy of his chapbook/selected poems – WOW – into the office and am sneaking little hits of his jazzy lyrics when I can spare a moment), who André Breton called the only “afroamerican surrealist” he had ever met, and also my beloved anthology, Surrealist Love Poems.

Perhaps I have not yet noted the special place that Paul Eluard’s Capital of Pain and Love, Poetry have in my heart, as well as, to a lesser extent, The Smoke That Carried Us: Selected Poems of René Char.

But I am not ignorant of the fact that surrealism has also spawned some of the most pernicious imitators – wild, sloppy writing for which surrealism is just an excuse.

The term “soft surrealism” seems to have been coined for just such a reason. It encapsulates the laziness and weakness of failed, contemporary attempts at surrealism.

But I also know that Eluard and others have deeply tinged my work. Are my own poems “soft surrealism?” Is is possible to pen a truly great surrealist poem so far from the literary moment that spawned the movement?

I don’t have the answer to that question.

One thought on “Soft Surrealism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.