A Rose

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Paul De Vree

1964-1965

Print, 490 x 490 mm.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. UFO2002_3).

A Rose is a poem in which the condensed use of language has led to visual possibilities for the text, with the space creating the structure. Although the musicality of the text is still decisive De Vree classified it as concrete poetry because the poem’s structure is also visually contained in the typographical extension. In 1965 the poem was enlarged on a silk-screen print and published by Hansjörg Mayer in the anthology ‘international concrete poetry’. [*A Rose*](http://ubumexico.centro.org.mx/sound/devree_paul/Devree-Paul_Eem-Rpps-a-Rpse.mp3) was also set to sound and released as a record by Henri Chopin in OU, his publication about sound poetry. The poem exists in Dutch and English versions and both were set to sound, in which Gertrude Steins’ classic, non-symbolic statement ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’ still seems to apply, irrespective of language or medium. De Vree’s two themes of love and the ephemeral are united in A Rose: ‘rose’ is an anagram of ‘eros’ and when it is set to sound, multiple repetition and the superimposition of the sentence ‘a rose is’ in the mix of sounds evokes the word ‘erosie’ (erosion).

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