Electrónicolírica by Herberto Helder and PO.EX Combinatorics

electronico-lirica
Open resource on Electrónico-Lírica
by Herberto Helder

Note from the Publisher: Herberto Helder passed away on Monday, March 23, 2015. To honor his poetic legacy, we wish to celebrate one of his works with this entry by Álvaro Seiça.

Herberto Helder is one of the most consistent and innovative Portuguese poets of the second half of the 20th century. Even if his later œuvre has been marked by a traditional experimentalist reworking of crafted language, whose poiesis engages with a very idiosyncratic vocabulary, one should not forget Helder’s eclectic trajectory. Having been influenced by, among other movements, Surrealism and international avant-garde experimentalism, Herberto Helder was, firstly together with António Aragão (1964), and secondly with Aragão and E. M. de Melo e Castro (1966), the editor of two important anthologies or cadernos (chapbooks), Poesia Experimental 1 [Experimental Poetry 1] and Poesia Experimental 2 [Experimental Poetry 2]. Both these anthologies opened up most of the major pathways of literary and artistic experimentalism in the 1960s, from which the PO.EX (Experimental POetry) movement emerged. Several genres, formal and thematic threads were originally tried out in these two anthologies and further work of the movement, namely concrete and visual poetry, ‘film poetry,’ sound poetry, ‘object-poetry,’ ‘poetic action’ and happening. As Helder points out in the first editorial (“Introdução”) of the cadernos:

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António Aragão’s “Found Poem” by Rui Torres and Nuno F. Ferreira

Torres__Found Poem_2
Screenshot of “Found Poem” generated from New York Times RSS feed.

In 1964, poets António Aragão (1924-2008) and Herberto Helder launched in Portugal the first number of the “Experimental Poetry Journals“, an experimental poetry magazine that presented vanguard poems created by a generation of poets attentive to new visual poetry tendencies and concrete poetry. 44 years later, a researchers staff headed by Rui Torres launches the project Experimental Poetry: Digital Archive of Portuguese Experimental Literature rescuing and spreading in the digital environment, the published poems and some proposes of its interactive digital versions.

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