Poetry East is a magnificent journal! A throwback of high culture and, as often as not, high modernism. It trucks heavily in translations and, if fault is to be found, it is that it can resemble a sort of poetry-centric Lapham’s Quarterly. I first came across it in a Barnes & Noble in the Christiana Mall in Delaware whilst on my way back from New Jersey.
The theme and title of this issue is Paris, but that’s not entirely an accurate one. It’s really about surrealism in the twenties and thirties, as well as surrealism’s antecedents. And really, that should be ‘Surrealism,’ capital ‘S.’ Not Surrealism as a modified adjective, but as a capital noun – Breton, et al.
Within are Surrealists and their close cousins: Appolinaire, Eluard, Dali, Soupault, Man Ray. Also, antecedents like Baudelaire. Also, for some reason, Proust and Huysmans.
I do love Eluard, in particular. As a little thing that stuck out for me, Eluard’s poems were transposed with a little essay by Dali and also reproductions of some of his works. The Dali essay mentioned Gala, who was had been Eluard’s wife, before leaving him for Dali. So, there’s that.