Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit – I am a Dadaist

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

Let’s go Dada. I was searching YouTube for a video of the memorable poem by Hugo Ball, one of the founder members of the Quirky Dada movement in Zürich in 1916. My son was on a visit, so being the quirky son of a quirky mother I asked him where it could be found. Son No. 2 reminded his mother that in 1916 there was no such thing as a video, Internet or computer and there exist only photos and recordings made later. anyhow here is one of the videos and below a photo of Hugo Ball reciting his poem Karawane. If you were Dadaist you had to dress for the occasion. No good just saying the poem without all the attachments.

Here are the words so that you can join in.

Dada Hugo Ball

Hugo Ball was a quirk. He was one of the founder members of the Dada Movement, that is now celebrating the centenary in Zürich where Dada originated in 1916. On the photo you see Hugo Ball reciting his never to be forgotten quirky poem. I remember the first time I heard of Dada. Yes, that was for me. If only I had lived in Zürich in 1916. The group was founded by immigrants it seems. I am not an expert on Dada, I do not have to be. There are enough books to read about Dada, and Internet is full of it.

Hugo Ball seems to have been the David Bowie of the moment. Of course there is no point in just reciting the meaningful words of the poem, you have to dress for the occasion. It all began in the Cabaret Voltaire in one of the back alleys of Zürich, the Niederdorf. Over the years the Niederdorf has become known for its more trendy restaurants, night clubs, some interesting sex shops and ladies of doubtful repute which has now been taken over by tourism. Anyhow Dada moved in and took it over for a while during 1916. Afterwards it moved on to Berlin and a few other European towns.

It seems now is the time to pay a visit to Zürich and see the events taking place, all in the name of Dada. Its art movement was quite popular, being mainly so-called collage constructions.

Dada Collage

In the Dada manifesto there are Instructions about how to make a Dada poem. I think I will try it out, something to appeal to my Quirky way of life. These are the instructions:

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.”

So that is my quirky contribution to today’s quirky Daily Prompt, based on the Dadaism of our daily life. Yes, I think this year a visit to Zürich would be appropriate. Now where did I put my pointed hat made of shiny cardboard and my nice cardboard cloak with its ribbon to tie it together.  I have the whole year to learn the words of “Karawane” so that I can recite them in Zürich.  Yes,  my name is Angloswiss and I am a Dadaist.

Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit – I am a Dadaist

19 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit – I am a Dadaist

  1. I think I have to try that. Because I’m a terrible poet, but maybe if I say it’s “Dada,” then I will be quirky and cool instead of insipid. Or plain dumb. I knew there had to be some way to become more entertainingly irrelevant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Dada, it so appeals to me, like everything strange and non-conformist. You are certainly not plain dumb, just inventive and well quirky, like me. Great minds think alike. And now to find a newspaper article, cut the words out and throw them into a plastic bag (but Dada didn’t have plastic did he?)


  2. Wow, that was so interesting! I’ve never even heard of Dada! I like the idea of doing a poem the way you described. Sounds a bit like the magnetic poetry you can get now. That video was scary! I have no idea what the words mean though. Thanks for telling us about it all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I took the description of how to do the poem from an article I read about Dada. The words on on the video are not supposed to mean anything, you have to go with the flow I suppose, that’s Dada. It was 100 years ago that the movement began in Zürich. Something completely different, a sort of intellectual revolution. There are other poems but Karawane is the most well known. If you are interested that scroll through Amazon, you will definitely find literasture about the Dada movement. I will probably be reading about it myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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