Poèm Objet by André Breton, 1935.
Collage of object and inscribed poem on card on wood.
From the National Galleries of Scotland:
Breton’s personal contribution to surrealist art was his fusion of poetry and object in his ‘Poème-Objet’ constructions. Although not an artist himself, he was eager to explore any technique that required minimum artistic skill, such as the collages and assemblages. In 1924, Breton called for the creation of objects seen in dreams. He made about a dozen of his own assemblages in the 1930s and early 1940s, calling them ‘Poème-Objets’. The text on the plaster egg in this work translates as ‘I see / I imagine’ and the poem beneath is deliberately cryptic.
The poem reads:
A l’intersection de lignes de force invisibles
Le point de chant vers quoi les arbres se font la courte échelle
L’épine de silence
Qui veut que le seigneur des navires livre au vent son panache de chiens bleus
(At the intersection of invisible lines of force
The focal point towards which trees give each other a leg up
The thorn of silence
That wants the lord of the ships to give the winds its panache of blue dogs)
Curator’s Note: The poem was produced through automatism. It’s not “deliberately cryptic” per se; rather, it’s a confluence of consciousness.