Surrealist Poetry – I too, dislike it

Half-awake, halfway into my first coffee, I began researching surrealist poetry.
I ought to like surrealism; after all, our house is full of my husband’s art.
But I like poetry that says something, I told myself. I don’t want to unravel words or follow twisting trails. And yet… when traveling, I’d rather be lost than follow a map.
Still, I remember being forced to read Ashbery in my MFA classes. Even now, I clench my teeth at the thought. And yet… I’m a big fan of dreams and the unconscious, juxtapositions, metaphor and symbolism. I enjoy blackout poetry and Soul Collage©. I always preferred reading poetry in French and Spanish – was it because I didn’t fully understand it?
Finally, I ended my inner debate with a challenge. Why not learn more? Why not try it? And so it begins. The first of my #Surreal_Sundays.

This is just to say…
obscure inchoate poetry
…I too dislike it

except in Spanish or French
or while I am writing it

The tanka above begins with a quote from William Carlos Williams and includes another from Marianne Moore.
Here are some sites I found helpful and plan to use for further studies. refers to “the use of personal juxtapositions, placing distant realities together, so that the interconnections between them were only apparent to the creator.”
Roger Moore’s blog has some nice examples of poetry inspired by surrealism.
For those who would like to try writing surrealist poetry, Ann Huang offers five techniques.

Please share your thoughts and links to the results in the comments below.

The image I chose for this post is “No tiene que ser como son” a 92″x60″ oil painting by my husband Alvaro Ibañez. It hangs in our B&B.


  1. Thank you for the ping back on Ambition. I think there is a clear difference between Andre Breton’s automatic writing from the subconscious, which often generates incoherence, and the re-organization and polishing of thoughts, images, metaphors garnered from ‘free writing’. Both Lorca and Octavio Paz denied being ‘surrealists’ yet both used the unconscious as a mine for poetic thought and metaphor. I re-read Lorca’s theory and function of the duende the other night, and it brought me close to tears. I do not claim to be a surrealist (not by any stretch of the imagination), but I do follow the artistic theories of both Lorca and Paz, the former, of course, very similar in metaphoric structure to Gongora. Wow: I enjoyed writing that! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

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