Monday, December 8, 2014


Surrealism. The free mind capturing the moment without strings, either through art or the thought frame of the poetic soul.

Some say the surrealist movement came through a cultural movement known as Dadaism or Dada (1916 -1920) involving visual arts and literature (poetry, art theory), etc. and mostly concentrating in anti war political works of art, or in reaction to the changes of the world around them. The Dada movement later influenced the styles of Avant-Garde, Nouveau Realism, Pop Art and of course, Surrealism.

Some believe the surrealist movement came from the dream theories of Jung and Freud, but no, the man who brought it to the forefront was, Andre Breton (1886-1966) a French writer, poet, surrealist who was part of the Dada movement for a short period, then he took it a step further into surrealism.

Andre Breton defined surrealism as: – "Pure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express, either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought.  Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations….."  This definition opens so many paths to veer down in the unwinding of its automatic journey. Moving without leading thought, being in the moment with no set course to traverse.

In the 1920's Andre Breton collaborated with Philippe Soulpault (1897-1990) a French writer, poet, novelist, political activist, and published Les Champs Magnétiques (The Magnetic Fields) the first work of literary surrealism using the technique of automatic writing. Automatic writing was not new and had been used in prior centuries by psychics and the like and was at times labeled fraud.

Of significant note in the poetry world, automatic writing did produce well known pieces one being Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, Kubla Kahn. Coleridge wrote the major portions of Kubla Kahn upon waking from an opium dream and the disruption of sleep from a traveling salesman.

To engage in the ways of automatic writing, one does not need to be high on opium, nor converse with a traveling salesman upon waking.  One technique is to sit with pen and paper, or computer and quiet the mind, take a deep breath.  Write down the first word that comes to your mind, but don't attach yourself to its path (the place that you would lead that word) let all words fall without thinking about them. Allow the hand to move upon the paper freely. If the flow stops, leave a space and begin again immediately using any word from the last sentence or a new one that entered you mind and proceed on. Don't read what you have written until you feel no more words will flow.

I have only touched on the ways of surrealism. The unhindered poetic mind falls well into the uncreased aspect of its way. There are no straight lines, it is unique like a snow flake whose shape is different then the other trillion that fall from the sky.  I hope you put your mind somewhere else and journey with me into this other dimension, the poetically ignited and surreal path of the poetic mind.


Play within the consciousness of the mind

Within the everything is nothing
and the nothing is something.
To discern the something from the nothing
I must then become nothing to be everything.

For in the nothing of the everything
I am not what I conceive myself to be.
I am no more than the something
that is nothing and the everything
will not be anything, until I understand.

(C) Suzanne Saporito - 2014

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