DOS FLEDENS, Freedonia. Vieru Chiznu-Prut, a seminal figure in the “New Wave” movement that transformed the poetry of this consonant-loving nation, has died after crashing his Vespa motorbike into an eggplant stand near his home here. He was 84.
Freedonian “New Wave” Poets, 1939
“It was Chiznu-Prut, more than any other figure of the New Wave, who freed his people’s poetry from the monotonous Ø-æ-ç-å rhyme scheme of the past,” noted Barbara Wexford-Miluski, a professor of comparative literature at The College of Chillicothe, Chillicothe, Ohio. “He cut a dashing figure on his Vespa, but his love of fuel economy eventually spelled his doom.”
Plangent Breadsticks, influential poetry journal
Prior to the New Wave, Freedonia’s poetry was dominated by the Old Wave, which had wrested the mantle of literary pre-eminence from the Even Older Wave at the end of World War I. The New Wave poets chafed under the overbearing authority of the Old Wave, but broke free with a collective chapbook of poems defiantly titled “Dog Nearly Itches to Death.”
Marda Vleznik-Oerthke, reading her poems at a New Wave soiree
The New Wave began to experiment with “blank verse,” forsaking rhyme in pursuit of artistic innovation. It was Chiznu-Prut’s “Vortex/Morning Breath” that heralded the dawn of a new day for Freedonian poetry in the inaugural issue of Plangent Breadsticks, an influential quarterly review:
ÈðÞåøûö üýþ ëýë
Ðûýøìþ üýþ øæçå
Î ûëöÞ çðòüòÞÿ
Êßá ÿüå éñç’ò šÅ¾œ¥!
Ezra Pound: “I’m crazy, but not that crazy.”
As translated by Ezra Pound for English-speaking readers, the poem goes as follows:
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
I like goat cheese
and you can’t skate.
A celebration of Chiznu-Prut’s life will be held at the Student Union of the University of Freedonia-Gldansk, where he drank numerous cups of bitter chicory coffee over the years. He is survived by his wife Glzena, his two mistresses Inirya Olgrsk and Nordinsk Phlegmats, and his cats, Orko and Desmond.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collections “Fauxbituaries,” “Hail Freedonia!” and “poetry is kind of important.”