Communist Poetry

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Auld-bod's picture
Auld-bod
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Nov 9 2015 09:09

I cannot say what makes a poem ‘communist’. I like this.

Monkey

‘All monkeys are brothers,’
Agreed the amiable small creature.
‘But one has to draw the line,’
Dropping a coconut to show just where.

His smile was in extremis,
Like the end of a cocktail evening.
His lips twitched, he was squeamish,
Hated hurting heads or feelings.

‘A joke’s a joke,’ he stuttered,
‘But some things even I can not condone.
My brothers wouldn’t like it,
I speak not for myself alone.’

The drooping palm-leaves
Were playing their end-of-performance tunes
The tree-trunk bowed
Like a tactful manager despising his patrons.

D.J. Enright

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Feb 2 2016 19:58

The Poor Wake Up Quickly

Surprised at night,
The trishaw driver
Slithers from the carriage,
Hurls himself upon the saddle.

With what violence he peddles
Slapbang into the swarming night,
Neon skidding off his cheekbones!
Madly he makes away
In the wrong direction.
I tap his shoulder nervously.
Madly he turns about
Between the taxis and the trams,
Makes away electric-eyed
In another wrong direction.

How do I star in that opium dream?
A hulking red-faced ruffian
Who beats him on his bony back,
Cursing in the tongue of demons.
But when we’re there
He grumbles mildly over his wage,
Like a sober man,
A man who has had no recent visions.
The poor wake up quickly.

D.J. Enright

fidel gastro
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Feb 4 2016 19:08

Nobody has mentioned Benjamin Zephaniah but I guess as he is still alive he's not a historical figure? Anyhow.....

Miss World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DflgQ4CyQSM

Money https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT_WpXlqW1s

Sleeper
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Feb 4 2016 20:22

Yes

Fletcher wrote:
Whilst there is a working class
I am of it,
While there is a criminal element,
Then I am in it,
And whilst there is a soul in prison,
Then I am not free.

Poetry of the Class War

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Auld-bod
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Feb 4 2016 21:41

Sleeper #155

It's good, though owes something to E.V. Debs:

'I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.' (Court statement, 1918)

Sleeper
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Feb 5 2016 20:43

Benjamin Zephaniah is a wonderful poet, as well as being patron of Haven. All good.

red and black riot wrote:
Nobody has mentioned Benjamin Zephaniah but I guess as he is still alive he's not a historical figure? Anyhow.....

Miss World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DflgQ4CyQSM

Money https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT_WpXlqW1s

Sleeper
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Feb 5 2016 21:02

I searched for The Mask of Anarchy and it didn't show up on this thread so here it is:
( also you can have it read to you if you use windows - http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/poetryperformance/shelley/poem3/shelley3.html )

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

II

I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Castlereagh -
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

III

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed the human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

IV

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

V

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

VI

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

VII

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

VIII

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

IX

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw -
'I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!'

X

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude,

XI

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

XII

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

XIII

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

XIV

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

XV

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
'Thou art God, and Law, and King.

XVI

'We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.'

XVII

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud
Whispering - 'Thou art Law and God.' -

XVIII

Then all cried with one accord,
'Thou art King, and God and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!'

XIX

And Anarchy, the Skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

XX

For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

XXI

So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

XXII

When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

XXIII

'My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!

XXIV

‘He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me -
Misery, oh, Misery!'

XXV

Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses' feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

XXVI

When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

XXVII

Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky

XXVIII

It grew - a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper's scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.

XXIX

On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning's, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.

XXX

With step as soft as wind it passed,
O'er the heads of men - so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked, - but all was empty air.

XXXI

As flowers beneath May's footstep waken,
As stars from Night's loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where'er that step did fall.

XXXII

And the prostrate multitude
Looked - and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

XXXIII

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

XXXIV

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt - and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

XXXV

As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother's throe

XXXVI

Had turnèd every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood, -
As if her heart had cried aloud:

XXXVII

'Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

XXXVIII

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.’

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Auld-bod
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Feb 5 2016 21:20

Thirty years ago I attended a poetry workshop in Birmingham held by Benjamin Zephaniah. Only remember he was a nice guy who generated creative enthusiasm.

Sleeper
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Feb 5 2016 23:08

Tina Morris - anarchist

They will do terrible things
to your face-
wiping away the colours of dreaming
from your eyes
and forking your tongue's
innocent laughter

Storming the secret places
of your garden mind
where magic seeds your life with wonder,
they will prune and dig and hack
and leave a dreadful emptiness
where once jungles flowered.

When your body would bend
itself to earth's warm pulse
or drink the juices of the seasons
or paint the skies
with fierce imaginings
they will erect barriers and cages
around the wild creature
which is your soul.

And you will forget
that once you knew
the power of magic
and the joy of freedom
as you wither away
behind the terrible things
they have done to your face.

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James MacBryde
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Feb 7 2016 22:57

Michael Smith: stoned to death by three reactionary JLP mobsters

Mi cyaan believe it
mi seh mi cyaan believe it
room dem a rent mi apply widdin but as me go in cock-roach rat and scorpion also
come in
one good nose haffi run but mi nah guh dong sit dong pon high wall like Humpty
Dumpty
mi a face mi reality
one lickle bwai come blow him horn
me look pon him wid scorn when me realise how mi five bwai pickney was a victim
of the trix dem call partisan politics
an mi bun mi belly and mi bawl
Mi seh mi cyaan believe it
mi daughter bwaifriend name is Sailor and him pass through the port like a ship
more grand pickney fi feed
but the whole a we need
what a night what a plight mi cyaan get a bite, mi life is a stiff fight and mi
cyaan believe it
sittin in de corner wid mi friends talkin bout tings and time
mi `ear one voice seh: "who deh?"
mi a seh "who deh?"
"who a seh who deh when wi a seh who deh"
when wi tek a stock, dem lick down wi flat
teet start fly, and big man start cry
an mi cyaan believe it
mi seh mi cyaan believe it
De other day mi a pass one yard pon de hill, when mi tek a stalk mi `ear "hey
bwai!"
Yes ma'am
"hey bwai!"
Yes ma'am
"You clean up de dog shit?"
Yes ma'am
an' mi cyaan believe it
Doris a mother of four, get a wok as a domestic
bass man move in an bap-si-kaisico she pregnant again
bap-si-kaisico she pregnant again
an mi cyaan believe it
De yard de other night when mi a hear fire, fire to plate claat, who dead, you
dead, who dead, me dead, who dead, Harry dead, who dead, heleven dead, woyeee,
Orange street fire deh bun mi `ead and mi cyan believe it
Lord me see one black bud livin in one building but no rent no pay so him cyaan
stay, Lord de opress and de disposess cyaan get no res`, what nex`
Tek a trip from Kingston to Jamaica, tek twelve from a dozen, mi see mi mama in
heaven. Madhouse. Mi cyaan believe it.
You believe it?
How you fi believe it when you blind you eye to it?
But mi know you believe it, laaawd, mi know you believe it.

Sleeper
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Feb 7 2016 18:37

Women of the Weather Underground

They call it terror
if you are few and have no B-52s
if you are not a head of state
with an army and police
if you have neither napalm
nor tanks nor electronic battlefields
terror is if you are dispossessed
and have only your own two hands
each other
and your rage
It is not terror
if you are New York’s Finest
and you shoot a ten-year old Black child in the back
because you think Black people
all look like
they’ve just committed a robbery
It is not terror if you are ITT
and buy the men
who line Chilean doctors up in their hospital
corridors
and shoot them for supporting the late
democratic government of their country
It is not terror but heroism
if you were captured by the Vietnamese
for dropping fragmentation bombs
on their schools and hospitals
Only those who have nothing
can be terrorists
.......

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Feb 19 2016 11:18

Not exactly communist poetry but the poet is a communist, so what the hell.

A Poem From a Dying Anarchist

A good man knows how to die

He sees no darkness

Only light

A good man knows how to die

He knows what death is

He feels its beauty

Understands the nature of its release

A good man knows how to die

He never seeks it

But welcomes it when it comes

A good man knows how to die

He learns how by living a good life

A good man knows how to die

He knows that what he leaves undone

Will be done by others

That the things he did not see

Will be seen by others

And as death steals over him

The knowledge of this wraps him up like a warm blanket

A good man knows how to die

And as his death approaches, his regrets flutter away

Like a beautiful butterfly transformed from an ugly grub

A good man knows how to die

And as he breathes his last breath

The pain and anguish of his life leave his face

And it is reborn

Yes, a good man knows how to die

And I am a good man

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Auld-bod
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Feb 19 2016 12:11

It's good. Who wrote it Noah?

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Noah Fence
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Feb 19 2016 18:19
Auld-bod wrote:
It's good. Who wrote it Noah?

Nobody well known - some guy called Comrade Webby!

boomerang
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Feb 21 2016 10:00
Noah Fence wrote:
Auld-bod wrote:
It's good. Who wrote it Noah?

Nobody well known - some guy called Comrade Webby!

Thanks for sharing that poem, Noah. You say Comrade Webby... as in Webby from libcom????

The poem is very moving and I like its message, or at least what I interpret as its message, which is that we can make peace with death if we live our lives in a good way, by doing good things in this world, and trying hard to make a positive difference... and that even if we can't finish the job (none of us can), that there will be others to carry on for us, and even if we won't be here to experience the positive effects of what we contributed, that others will be here. Many others. And that's a beautiful thing.

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Cooked
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Feb 21 2016 12:47
Noah Fence wrote:
A good man knows how to die

He knows that what he leaves undone

Will be done by others

That the things he did not see

Will be seen by others

These lines were the best. I knew you had some health issues but are you doing
as poorly as the poem suggests?

Boomerang: Noah is Webby he changed his nick.

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Feb 21 2016 13:23
Quote:
These lines were the best. I knew you had some health issues but are you doing
as poorly as the poem suggests?

Well thanks! As for my health lets just say the wheels have been falling off at quite a rate with the latest turn for the worse last week. I'm in good spirits though. In fact it's quite exciting in a weird way and anyways, it ain't quite over yet! It's a matter of timing between transplant and end of play. Which will come first??? On my good days though I'm having a fucking blast!

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SRQ
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Mar 3 2016 12:13

Danil Harms was the best, he write only one complete book, Occasions and Majakovsky were revolutionaries and banned by Stalin. Bout of them tell about contradictions and occasions, absurdity, what change of new soviet era bring whit it.
Literature studies respect them even they are radical and more like revolutionaries than communist.

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Mar 16 2016 21:25

Anger born of love
Creates something new
Something of power
Something magnificent, majestic
The motivation to discard comfort, forgo gratification
To lose identity and use anonymity as a lever to prize open the door to freedom
Anger born of love
Overcomes fear, pain and hopelessness
It propels you through deep snow, along icy rivers and over flesh shredding rocks
Anger born of love is the distillation of the human spirit
It is something of hard beauty
Something that lives in the heart of those that are the change in the world
And it is something very, very fierce

elraval2
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Mar 16 2016 21:49

Sorry, haven't read through the entire thread... but has Pablo Neruda been mentioned?

ajjohnstone
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Mar 17 2016 01:13

Once again to promote our blog, Socialism Or You Money Back, every Tuesday there is a topical humourous poem posted by our comrade Richard Layton.

This was his latest offering

SILLY B’LEADERS!

7/3/16. Obituaries of Nancy Reagan reveal how
she and the former U.S. President used to consult
an astrologer before making political decisions.

The myth of leadership runs deep,
It undermines each thought;
Like faith in God from a young age,
It’s something that we’re taught.

It’s there to put us in our place,
To make us feel quite small;
So all of us will then believe,
We matter not at all.

We’re told that it’s great leaders who,
Make our whole world go round;
And if it wasn’t for their deeds,
We’d flounder on the ground.

Adolf was guided by the runes,
And Churchill picked by fate; (1)
Whilst Blair’s one more Messiah who,
Arrived back far too late!

The problem with all statesman is,
They’re guilty of one sin;
And it’s the same as all of them,
Believe in their own spin.

With egos massaged by all those,
Who toady to their needs;
They really do become convinced,
The world turns on their deeds.

But when we look at the hard facts,
We find this is a myth; (2)
And leaders throughout history,
Have more than took the pith!

(1) Churchill was convinced that ‘fate’ had chosen him to be a ‘great man’.
He modestly described himself as a star shining amongst lesser lights.

(2) Wikipedia on ‘Leadership’, “Noam Chomsky and others have brought critical
thinking to the concept of leadership and have provided an analysis that asserts that
people abrogate their responsibility to think and will actions for themselves. While
the conventional view of leadership is rather satisfying to people who ‘want to be
told what to do’, these critics say that one should question why they are being subjected
to a will or intellect other than their own if the leader is not a subject-matter expert”.

Others found here
http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/search?q=richard+layton&max-results=20&by-date=true

Battlescarred
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Mar 17 2016 12:18

How about this lovely poem from Louis Aragon on the GPU (Cheka, GPU, OGPU,NKVD, and finally KGB):
"Prelude to the Cherry Season":

I sing the GPU which is taking shape

In the France of today

I sing the GPU we need in France

I sing the GPUs of nowhere and everywhere

I call for the GPU to prepare the end of the world

Call for the GPU to prepare the end of the world

To defend the betrayed

To defend those always betrayed

Ask for a GPU, you whom they bend and whom they kill

Ask for a GPU

You need the GPU

Long live the GPU the dialectical figure of heroism

Real heroes not imbecile idiot pilots

Who people think are heroes just because they

Fly in the face of the earth

Long live the GPU, true image of materialist splendor

Long live the GPU; down with Chiappe and the Marseillaise

Long live the GPU; down with the pope and the bugs

Long live the GPU; down with money and banks

Long live the GPU; down with the cheating East

Long live the GPU; down with the family

Long live the GPU; down with infernal laws

Long live the GPU; down with socialist assassins like

Caballero Boncour MacDonald Zoergibel

Long live the GPU; down with the enemies of the proletariat

elraval2
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Apr 7 2016 22:45

is it just me or is most 'Communist' poetry terrible?

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Noah Fence
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Apr 9 2016 06:47

This machine traverses the world
Blind, deaf, stupid
No care for the destruction in it's wake
It just rolls on, devouring all
Spitting out the bones
Our bones
It's fuel is reason, beauty, possibility
And from its exhaust spews isolation, pain, confusion and hopelessness
There are no winners, no one and nothing is safe
This machine, capitalism, like a stinking putrid soulless animal
Eternally ravaged by an insatiable hunger will never stop
And all the while, men and women feel the sharp horror of separation from how it could be
Should be
Like tiny amoeba, alone in a vast empty universe
We stand, transfixed in it's dark light
Made to feel to blame for our inability to live in these unnatural hellish conditions that this animal subjects us to
Made to feel inadequate
Made to feel fear
So saturated by the blood of this thing that we cling on to it, worship it, and spend our lives feeding it
This creature must be slain if we are to feel joy in our species
To realise the possibilities that we hold
To not be alone anymore
For this is the true crime committed by this machine, this animal, this capitalism
It separates us and puts us into our most unnatural state
Alone
We starve in a world of plenty
We freeze under a hot sun
We are imprisoned by limits in a limitless world
All this because we are forced to be alone
Alone
Alone...

Sleeper
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Apr 9 2016 17:31

Alex Comfort - anarchist

Song For The March

Now on the night march
now in the dark time
you who have sung before
give us a song, now

You are the voice of the dead
you are the tongue, speak
sing with the numberless throat
of the dead and the weak

Should that song once rise,
and should they live again,
a wind of voices will spring
joined in my single voice

You have desired a song
should we dare to sing
though you kill all of us
the song will go on.

This has goodness, breath,
a blade against history
a blow at the old lie
life in time of death

this has culture, grace
the conscript who disobeys
a prison roof in a blaze
a heel in a rulers face

this is our poetry
every command that finds
a hand that takes a hand
voices like rising winds
and the running street.

elraval2
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Apr 9 2016 18:50

in my humble opinion, the above may be communist, but certainly not poetry.

And lo! from opening clouds, I saw emerge
The loveliest moon, that ever silver’d o’er
A shell for Neptune’s goblet: she did soar
So passionately bright, my dazzled soul
Commingling with her argent spheres did roll
Through clear and cloudy, even when she went
At last into a dark and vapoury tent

elraval2
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Apr 9 2016 18:53

what about Lorca. has he had a mention here?

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Apr 10 2016 08:08

This I think owes more to William Morris than Karl Marx.

Song

And when our streets are green again
When metalled roads are green
And girls walk barefoot through the weeds
Of Regent Street, Saint Martin’s Lane.

And children hide in factories
Where burdock blooms and vetch and rust
And elms and oaks and chestnut trees
Are tall again and hope is lost

When up the Strand the foxes glide
And hedgehogs sniff and wildcats yell
And golden orioles come back
To flash through Barnes and Clerkenwell

When governments and industries
Lie choked by weeds in fertile rain
For sure the few who stay alive
Will laugh and grow to love again

John McGrath

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Noah Fence
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Apr 10 2016 10:22

That is ace Auld Bod.

Sleeper
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Apr 10 2016 20:33

Tristan Tzara

TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.