unfinished

Tristan Tzara/ L’homme approximatif


Tristan Tzara/ L’homme approximatif
XVIII
les empreintes de tes pas invisibles sur mer

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.

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