On Tuesday The Tiverton Poetry Society met in the CreaTiv hub in Tiverton to discuss the fascinating subject of surrealism. 

What is Surrealism?

"Three men riding on a bicycle which has only one wheel, I guess that's surrealism."(Dong Kingman)

Surrealism emerged as the direct result of the publication of André Breton’s first Le Manifeste du Surréalisme(Manifesto of Surrealism) (1924). In this manifesto, Breton presented two definitions of surrealism,

1) Pure Automatism

Automatism is the use of techniques, such as automatic writing, self-induced hallucinations, and word games like the exquisite corpse to make manifest repressed mental activities. 

2)  Philosophical Surrealism

The surrealist view of reality and expresses the surrealist’s desire to open the vistas of the arts through the close observation of the dream state and the free play of thought.

Modern surrealists can be seen  by their use of personal juxtapositions, placing distant realities together, so that the interconnections between them were only apparent to the creator.

Several very interesting, magical and creative poems were read including works by the great modern poets Selima Hill and David Gascogne.

In the second half of the meeting, the group read their own work based on the concept of spirits with work ranging from haiku, limericks, blank verse, micropoetry and automatic writing. The atmosphere for spirit work was greatly enhanced by the dark evening and a machine which made the sound of a hidden intruder coughing at spookily irregular intervals.

This is an active, fun  poetry group and ideal for people who want to learn more about poetry.

The next group meeting is on the theme of Welsh poets and poets have been challenged to write a surrealist poem to share with the group! 

by P.J. Reed