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Encyclopedia > Martian poetry

Martian poetry. A distinctly English style of Surrealism in poetry, of the 1970s and early 1980s. Poets most closely associated with it are Craig Raine and Christopher Reid. It was first popularized by Raine's collection A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (1979). Through the heavy use of curious, exotic and humourous metaphors, Martian Poetry aimed to break the grip of 'the familiar' in English poetry, by describing ordinary things (such as a book) as if through the eyes of a Martian. Surrealism is an artistic movement and an aesthetic philosophy that aims for the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative powers of the unconscious. ... Events and trends Although in the United States and in many other Western societies the 1970s are often seen as a period of transition between the turbulent 1960s and the more conservative 1980s and 1990s, many of the trends that are associated widely with the Sixties, from the Sexual Revolution... Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ... Craig Raine (3 December 1944 - ) is an English poet and critic born in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. ... Christopher Reid (born in 1949) is a British poet, essayist, cartoonist, and writer. ...

For instance, books are described by Raine as...

mechanical birds with many wings
perch on the hand
cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain

Unsurprisingly, Martian poetry became a popular method in the teaching of poetry composition to school children.

It arose in the context of the experimental poetry of the late 1960s; but also owes a debt to English traditions of nonsense poetry (e.g.: Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear), and even the Anglo-Saxon riddles. Events and trends The 1960s was a turbulent decade of change around the world. ... Nonsense verse is a form of poetry, normally composed for humorous effect, which is intentionally and overtly paradoxical, silly, witty, whimsical or just plain strange. ... Photograph of Lewis Carroll taken by himself, with assistance Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a British author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... Edward Lear, 1812-1888 Eagle Owl, Edward Lear, 1837 Another Edward Lear owl, in his more familiar style Edward Lear (12 May 1812 - 29 January 1888) was an artist, illustrator and writer known for his nonsensical poetry and his limericks, a form which he popularised. ... The Anglo-Saxons refers collectively to the groups of Germanic tribes who achieved dominance in southern Britain from the mid-5th century, forming the basis for the modern English nation. ... A riddle is a puzzle, consisting of text with a question to answer. ...



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