Before reading this collection, I had to research cut-up poetry. Here’s the best way to describe it by the Dadaist writer Tristan Tzara, who wrote “dada manifesto on feeble love and bitter love,” [which included a section called “To Make a Dadaist Poem,” and it gave these instructions:
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.
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.]
In case you don’t know, as I did not, a Dada is a European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity. (Thanks Farlex)
As you can see, before I began reading Rob Manary’s cut-ups, I had learned a great deal.
Once I understood the concept, I was ready to read the poetry. Since learning David Bowie and William S. Burroughs made this method popular, I was intrigued. I was already wearing my 2004 Bowie tour tee shirt because I had just read the short story, Hang Onto Yourself . . . David Bowie, by Diane Lebow.
I had a much better understanding of the cut-up method of poetry when I read track1: “groupie.” Its origin was from the story, Hang Onto Yourself. . . David Bowie. It was amazing.
Continuing with the book, the other cut-ups are just as remarkable. I found the concept surprisingly simple, yet at the same time complex. The content of a number of poems is personal to Rob Manary, while the others are about personal love from other experiences.
I can see how Bowie linked up with the Beat Generation writer, William S. Burroughs, and with RadioHead’s the bends.
I applaud the author, Rob Manary, for his dedication and expertise in writing this cut-up poetry book for readers to enjoy.
I appreciated the education and the entertainment after reading, Onto Yourself Collection: (Cut-up Poetry Inspired by David Bowie and RadioHead). I highly recommend taking a few minutes of your day to enjoy the cut-ups.