The intention, furthermore, to grasp the reflex of things directly—without superfluous reflections. Lichtenstein knows that the man is not stuck to the window, but stands behind it. That the baby-carriage is not screaming, but the child in the baby- carriage. Because he can only see the baby-carriage, he writes: the baby-carriage cries. It would have been untrue lyrically had he written: a man stands behind a window.
By chance, it is conceptually also not untrue: a boy plays with a pond. A horse stumbles over a lady. Dogs swear. Certainly one must laugh in an odd way when one learns to see: that a boy actually uses a pond as a toy. How horses have a helpless way of stumbling... how human dogs express their rage...
Sometimes the representation of reflection is important. Perhaps a poet goes mad—makes a deeper impression than—a poet stares stiffly ahead—
Something else compelling in the poem: fear and things that resemble reflection, like: all men must die... or: I am only a little book of pictures... that will not be discussed here.
That Twilight and other poems take things strangely (The comic is experienced tragically. The representation is “grotesque"), to notice the unbalanced, incoherent nature of things, arbitrariness, confusion... is not, in any case, the characteristic of “style.” Proof is: Lichtenstein writes poems in which the “grotesque” disappears, without notice, behind the “ungrotesque.”
Other differences between older poems (for example, Twilight) and later ones (for example, Fear) in the same style are detectable. One might observe that ever increasing idiosyncratic reflections about landscape clearly break through. Certainly not without artistic purpose.
The third group consists of the poems of Kuno Kohn.
A man walked back and forth in his torn slippers
In the small room
He thought about the events
About which he was informed by the evening paper.
And sadly yawned, the way only that man yawns
Who has read much that is strange—
And the thought suddenly overcame him,
Like a timid person who gets gooseflesh,