Saturday, August 18, 2007

Le Grand Jeu

Like any other form of art, what passes for the most part as poetry is garbage. But I recall as if yesterday my discovery of Robert Desnos's The Voice at Waldenbooks in Del Amo Mall. When I read the forward I discovered a key feature about Desnos that would forever change me: he was a Surrealist.

I plan on writing about Desnos in a future post, but since I've never addressed poetry I am going to lead off with one of if not my favorite poem. For me, it sums up everything great art should strive for. It's by Aime' Cesaire, a titan if ever there was one.

I dedicate it to you - you know who you are.



Transfixing muscles and blood
devouring all eyes this intense bright mass of foliage
crowning with truth our usual lights
a ray a spray from the triumphant sun
by means of which
justice will be done
and every arrogance washed away

Household vessels and human flesh slip away into the thick
neck of the waves
silences by way of contrast have begun to exert the most
substantial pressures

Around the circumference of the circle
among public activities along the riverbanks
the flame
stands solitary and splendid in its upright judgment