Archive for the Poetry Category

Sappho in Leucadia

Posted in Painting, Poetry with tags , on August 16, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Sappho am Vorgebrige Leukate

Posted in Painting, Poetry with tags , on August 16, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Ben Shahn on Poetic Form

Posted in Poetry with tags on July 25, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Perhaps my young friend would never under any circumstances have become a good poet. Perhaps he should have had the drive and persistence to master those forms which have defeated him–I myself think he should. But I wonder whether it was ever made clear to him that all poetic forms have derived from practice; that in the very act of writing poetry he was, however crudely, beginning to create form. I wonder whether it was pointed out to him that form is an instrument, not a tyrant; that whatever measures, rhythms, rhymes or groupings of sounds best suited his own expressive purpose could be turned to form–possibly just his own personal form, but form; and that it too might in time take its place in the awesome hierarchy of poetic devices.


But teaching itself is so largely a verbal, a classifying, process that the merely intuitive kinds of knowing, the sensing of things which escape classification, the self-identification with great moods and movements in life and art and letters may be lost or obliterated by academic routine. They are not to be taught but rather absorbed through a way of life in which intensively developed arts play an easy and familiar part. For it is just such inexact knowing that is implicit in the arts.


It is this kind of knowing also–the perceptive and intuitive–that is the very essence of an advanced culture. The dactyl and the spondee, the heroic couplet, the strophe and the antistrophe may be valuable and useful forms to the poet; but the meaning of the poem and its intention greatly transcend any such mechanics.

The Regiment of Pleasure

Posted in Philosophy, Poetry with tags on July 18, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Do not speak of guilt, do not speak of responsibility. When the Regiment of Pleasure passes by, with music and flags; when the senses quiver and tremble, whoever stands apart is foolish and impertinent: whoever does not rush to join the good crusade, to the conquest of pleasures and of passions.

All the laws of morals — as ill-considered as they are ill-constructed — are naught and cannot stand fast even for a moment, when the Regiment of Pleasure passes by accompanied by music and by flags.

Do not let a single shadowy virtue stop you. Do not believe that a single commitment binds you. Your duty is to give in, give in always to your longings, which are the most perfect creations of perfect gods. Your duty is to fall in, a faithful soldier, with simplicity of heart, when the Regiment of Pleasure passes by accompanied by music and by flags.

Do not shut yourself inside your house and deceive yourself with theories of justice, with the superstitions about reward held by ill-made societies. Do not say, My toil is worth so much, and so much I’m due to enjoy. Since life is an inheritance and you had nothing to do to earn it, so an inheritance, too, must Pleasure necessarily be. Do not shut yourself inside your house; but keep the window open, completely open, so that you might hear the first sounds of the passing of the soldiers, when there arrives the Regiment of Pleasure accompanied by music and by flags.

Do no be deceived by the blasphemers who tell you that this service is risky and toilsome. Service to Pleasure is a constant joy. It exhausts you, but it exhausts you with heavenly intoxications. And when at last you fall down in the street, even then your fate is to be envied. When your funeral procession passes by, the Shapes that your longings fashioned will cast tulips and white roses on your coffin, and onto their shoulders the youthful Gods of Olympus will lift you, and they will entomb you in the Cemetery of the Ideal where the mausoleums of poetry gleam white.

Young Masters #10

Posted in Photo, Poetry, Surrealism with tags , , on July 16, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Young Samy Rosenstock aka Tristan Tzara, with his father and grandfather circa 1912?


Le Rayon Poétique

Posted in Object, Poetry with tags on July 14, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

La réalité ne se révèle qu’éclairée par
le rayon poétique

La Bonne Heure II

Posted in Dylan Thomas Hayden, Poetry with tags , on July 13, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

the ruined fruits
the ragged walls
the dead snow
the sullied hours
the locked steps
have broken the streets
the shame of living
floods my eyes

the lightless homes
the toothless laugh
the crushed squares
the harried old age
profiled in the hearth
all the misery
to walk over
disemboweled horses
in the arena of heads
the stolen shutters
the open houses
the children outside
words of straw
the only truth

empty mattress
for no sleep
neither laughter nor dream
cold in the gut
iron in the snow
burning in the throat

what have you done what have you done
with the warm hands of tenderness
have you lost the sky
in the head by the world
in the stone in the wind
friendship and the smile
like stray dogs
like dogs

–Tristan Tzara, trans. DTH


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