Write like Tristan Tzara

To Make a Dadaist Poem

Section of dada poem, black spiral with text interspersed on white background

^Francis Picabia, Dame! Illustration for the cover of the periodical Dadaphone, n. 7, Paris, March 1920

The cut-up technique was popularised by writer William Burroughs and has influenced lyrics by musicians such as David Bowie and Kurt Cobain. Although the cut-up technique might look or sound like nonsense, the essence of the article is retained in the finished product. Over the course of June, we’d love to see your own Dada inspired poems, using the cut-up technique below.

Send you dada inspired poems to: decomodsubmit@gmail.com

Tristan Tzara wrote instructions on how “To Make a Dadaist Poem” (1920):

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.