The Manchester Art Gallery is currently home to the Angels of Anarchy, Women Artists and Surrealism exhibition. I know very little about art but this exhibition caught my eye.
As it happens, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, a weekend writing course at the gallery is using the exhibition as a focus point. I wasn't lucky enough to get one of the 15 tickets but the website invites you to create your own line of surrealism poetry. Your line is then mixed with 7 or 8 other lines until a poem is created (the other lines are all hidden until the poem is published so you could end up with a poem about flying fish, a broken heart and a teaspoon... a future idea there maybe?)
This was my first attempt: (my lines subtly highlighted in red!)
Submerging with sediment
shaddows playing on the rain dirtied glass
your only mission is intuition, be still it will
i had a dream of a glistening stream
I escape to reality, to flee from my imagination.
death like a sunflower always opposite me
Speak, no words are heard, my thoughts fly free,
the plains of mercy disappear, drowning her in sin
he said he couldn't find me but i was always there
I was impressed! I'm not a poet and don't often 'get' poetry but I liked the whole thing and how it worked together... However, I wasn't so keen on the next attempt, mainly because the person who had contributed the first five lines obviously had a set idea of what she wanted the poem to be like...
the skys are within your eyes
the streams are within your dreams
the flow is within your bow
the flight is within your might
the earth is within your myrth
The emperor monkeys fill the chalices with poison
A fantasy unmasked, a magnified lie
cold earth no sun will warm my face
Fade away bitter memories, sail away hidden lies
The website with this funky little exercise can be found here: http://www.manchestergalleries.org/angelsofanarchy/
I'm going to the exhibition on Monday and hoping for a surge of surreal inspiration to hit me, if it does, I'm sure I'll be on here blogging about it.