soulèvent des pagodes temporaires d’eau
jésus d’air ferment de splendides auréoles et semeur d’oiseaux
chaîne remontant jusqu’à l’hélice des nuages
grimpe impalpable soupir diable nageur
vers le goulot de la bouteille du cirque
tes paroles munies de voiles atteignent tous les ports de la mémoire
le ferry-boat relie nos deux mains qui dans le foin du rêve se cherchent
main – ouverte diadème du cœur ouverte aux couronnes de fruits
douce parole reposant dans ma main magique fraîcheur
dans le cormoran enfouie à son sein volant en vis de signal astral
la lumière s’exprime perd ses pétales
(Tristan Tzara, 1931, Gallimard, 1968)
The stream of consciousness process in literature came into the public eye briefly through James Joyce’s famous novels ‘Ulysses’ and ‘Finnegan’s Wake’.
Joyce’s technique is somehow similar to what the French Surrealists did in poetry.
In the early stages of the 20th century the French Surrealist poets used ‘écriture automatique’ (automatic writing) to write down – as if by command- everything that trickled down into their (sub)conscious mind, unfiltered and untouched by their own personal beliefs.
Tristan Tzara originally was a Dadaist writer and painter, but he moved on to Surrealism in the early Twenties.
“L’homme approximatif” is a perfect example of what Surrealism in poetry was all about: it is made up of free flowing, meandering strings of sentences that seem to come out of nowhere, ending up as a still life, like debris in the landscape after the flood. The writer is the medium.
But it also shows a strange organic coherence, a sense of urgency and inevitability, a relentless drive which is not all too often found in contemporary poetry.