Women of the Avant-Garde: Mina Loy
Mina Loy was a kick ass modern writer/thinker whose historical significance has unfortunately been overshadowed by her male contemporaries — as is the case for many important women avant-garde writers. We hear about Andre Breton and Filippo Marinetti, but rarely do we hear about Beatrice Wood, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, or Mina Loy.
Anyway, the other day I came across this thoughtful examination of one of Loy’s poems (“Mina Loy: “Lunar Baedeker”: The poet navigates the unknown world” by Jessica Burstein) so I thought I’d share that with you and use the opportunity to boost Loy’s name back into the cultural consciousness.
Here’s the opening of the poem Burstein discusses in her essay:
A silver Lucifer
cocaine in cornucopia
To some somnambulists
of adolescent thighs
in satirical draperies
–from the opening of “Lunar Baedeker“
And here is a quote from Loy’s book called The Lost Lunar Baedeker:
Imagine a tennis champion who became inspired to write poetry, would not his verse be likely to embody the rhythmic transit of skimming balls? Would not his meter depend on his way of life, would it not form itself, without having recourse to traditional, remembered, or excepted forms? This, then, is the secret of the new poetry. It is the direct response of the poet’s mind to the modern world of varieties in which he finds himself. In each one we can discover his particular inheritance of that world’s beauty.