Surrealist & Dadaist Poetry: An Anthology
compiled with an introduction by Jean Bonnin
Surrealism and Dadaism have been two of the most influential and powerful internationalist movements of the twentieth century. Revolution, absurdism, and humour fused together to create these forces of untamed creativity. Forces that rejected the rational conscious mind in favour of dream, the subconscious,
subversion, love, and hidden desire.
Within the pages of this book the reader will find the poems
of both the dominant and the less well-known protagonists
of Dadaism and Surrealism past and present, as well as
some poems by those who have been closely linked to both movements…
Dada came into its own in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich,
where unstructured live performance, poetry, and music were
combined to create a subversive cultural break from the
stifling and destructive mores of the time…
Surrealism took up the baton and developed into
not only the subversive influence that its predecessor had been,
but in addition it wished to, as André Breton put it:
“resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality
into an absolute reality, a super-reality”, or surreality.
No other artistic and cultural movements have been as obdurate
in their desire to change the world and to change reality –
both from without and from within… And their belief
in poetry, love, revolt, subversion, juxtaposition, and dream
can be seen to be coursing through the veins of
the poems that have been chosen
for this anthology.
In case it is ever forgotten, this collection reminds us
of the importance of poetry in the
struggle to carve out a more harmonious,
radical and egalitarian future.