Rhetoric

The Kick-About prompt this time around is “The Five Canons of Rhetoric”. My mind glazed over as I read through these rigid and formal ways of organizing communication. Of course the word rhetoric has multiple meanings, the first of which, according to dictionary.com, is “(in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast”. Something we all been oversubjected to of late.

What is true of all the definitions is that rhetoric involves the use of language. One synonym given particularly caught my eye: ” balderdash–senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense”. The word nonsense immediately made me think of the surrealists.

The surrealists felt that letting go of the need to control your creation would reveal deeper truths. This was true of both visual and written art. They rejected logic and reason.

I often use surrealistic techniques for both my art and my writing. I’ve been doing rorschach images for awhile–these little cards are done by dripping the leftover paint from my watercolors onto the card and folding it in half. Usually the layers are done in several sessions.

I also compose comments for my images using words and phrases I’ve cut out of magazines and advertisements. I limit myself to what’s contained in one envelope for each card, and often spend quite a long time choosing and arranging them. I call it the collage box oracle, as it’s similar to using magnetic poetry. I was originally inspired by Claudia McGill, who is a master at this technique.

I’m usually surprised by what appears. It always makes me think.

I first scanned in just the images, and then worked on the words. When I went to scan them in, I realized I had changed the orientation of the image in half of them. Another unexpected surprise.

Surrealistic Rhetoric has no pretense to being anything but a random arrangement of words. But somehow it manages to incorporate at least 4 of the classical canons–invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. As to memory–well, canon #7 deals with that.

The Eight Canons of Surrealist Rhetoric

Is there anything more archetypal than nothing?

Space is just energy deconstructing.

You expected evolving to be more complex.

Adventure awaits beyond the details of yourself.

Fools rush into the shadow of the projected image.

I was invented from the earth’s fertile surfaces–
otherwise my unlimited nakedness would be alarming.

My plans are to forget to remember.

There was a window from the start—simple and mysterious–
imagine looking through it to what is hidden between.

Galaxy Girl

postcard 9s

Linda at dVerse is looking for surrealistic poetry.  The collage box Oracle is always ready to offer a surreal commentary on life.  But this prompt also made me think of poetry generators–there are so many online now.  I decided to take my poem and plug its words into a few of them.

the world of the future
returns to galaxy girl
unidentified

from https://www.poem-generator.org.uk/

ominous city
a rosy red lips returns
by the galaxy

from https://oakdome.com/k5/lesson-plans/word/i-am-poem.php

I pretend to return
I feel unidentified
I touch the future
I worry the world
I cry galaxies
I am a girl

and from one I’ve used a lot in the past:  https://thinkzone.wlonk.com/PoemGen/PoemGen.htm

The world walks like a cold galaxy.
Where is the light window?
The dark sidewalk invisibly identifys the girl.
The big window silently desires the galaxy.

There are lots more to try–just type in “poetry generator” and be prepared to eat up a lot of time…

My altered postcard is of the Smithfield St Bridge in Pittsburgh, from a poster by Lantern Press.