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Parrot on a Motorcycle by Vítězslav Nezval

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Poets of the past indulged in philosophy. Thought. Its unexpected ascent. Deduction, induction, elaborate on a subject, conclusion. Dressing logic of concepts into celebration robe. Oh, what work! Mildewed unpleasantness of offices. Thinkers!

Parrot on a Motorcycle (Papoušek na Motocyklu) was written in 1924 as a prose-poem like manifesto. In this work, Nezval demonstrates the means of fast association and free ideas, which he advocated in his descriptions of Poetism, through an unusual style and layout. The piece was originally published in the collection, Pantomima, a book in which many of Nezval's central themes of the mythic, the absurd, and the hallucinatory can be found both in the texts and in the margins. 

Eastern European Poets Series #25.

Translated by Jennifer Rogers.

Vítězslav Nezval (1900-1958) was a poet, playwright, translator, and novelist. He was one of the most prolific Czech avant-garde writers in the first half of the twentieth century. He was a member of the Devětsil group, which urged artists to look deeper into ordinary objects for poetic quality. In 1923 he became a founding member of the Poetist Movement and an avid writer of manifestoes for what art could become. Later, after translating Breton’s Second Manifesto and meeting with the leading Surrealist in Paris, he founded the Czech Surrealist Movement.

Jennifer Rogers is a poet, translator, and publishers of Hot Whiskey Press. She holds an M.F.A. from Naropa University and a M.A. from University of Chicago. She currently resides in Prague. 

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