At any rate, Tzara also has a lovely little poem that doubles as a do-it-yourself Dada poem instruction kit, called "To Make a Dadaist Poem." So we read the 2nd Manifesto of 1918, and then the Dada poem, and then we began the process of making a Dada poem. So here's Tzara's poem. I brought in scissors and copies of the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, which was full of interesting articles today (in just the Arts section alone there were pieces on Howard Dodson's retirement from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; fiction Pulitzer winner Paul Harding's trajectory from multiple rejectee to prize awardee; a piece on Timothy McVeigh's taped prison tapes; making art at the speed of the Net by pairing techies and, well, artists; junior dance companies at the 1,2,3 Festival; and much more), students snipped and will now go create poems.
You can try it too. Here's Tzara's poem. I'll append my Dadaist poem later tonight.
HOW 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.
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.
Copyright © Tristan Tzara, 1920. No rights reserved.
Update: here's the Dadaist poem I assembled, to mirror what my students were working on. It was originally an article about the prison tapes of Timothy McVeigh. I did not move a single word around to make it sound more felicitous, and I tried to use as many of the snippets as I could cull from the bag (I had to use tweezers since the New York Times's print is so small--was it always so? I know my eyes are going!) Let's call it "Head / terrorist":