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to be a lot of excitement regarding the creation of poetry
for the Web. Any thoughts on disadvantages?
posted by CK
visual or image based poetry has been regarded as anti-intellectual
in a lot of literary circles, which is too bad in my opinion
because I think that adding visual or auditory components
to poetry opens up new ways of using language-- something
that could definitely stand to be examined more deeply
in an academic setting.
posted by Saul
image-based also been regarded as anti-intellectual, though?
find someone who thinks a book with illustrations or photographs
isn't less serious than an all-text academic book. it's
pretty hard. it's something you study a lot in visual
arts programs (since you do have to explain on a regular
basis why what you do is in fact serious and just as difficult
as an engineering degree).
posted by Zahra
|I do not
think that the web is disadvantageous to poetry. If it
is true poetry no matter what the tool is: sand, stone,
marble, pencil, pen or keyboard, it will always be good
posted by Antonio
enjoyed responding with hearing, seeing and the joy of
being able to move the images myself. I liked the first
poems in 2000, some of the more recent films are not as
creative and deep as the first group I watched. I like
openended poems with universal vaules, not just goss and
negative. Keep up the creativiey. I am a 64 yr old women
who makes metal sculpture.
posted by njb
Antonio has raised an interesting issue here: how does
a poem's medium - or the medium of any piece of literature,
for that matter - affect its status as a poem? Must it
be in ink on paper? Or does hypertextual, interactive
poetry still maintain an innate literary quality, despite
the difference of its presentation?
posted by e.e.d.
good,,, although it makes us uncomfortable- every system
is subject to abuse or vulnerable to corruption- but it
is also educational... we need to appeal to the multitudes,
and penetrate awareness, and utilize all possible senses-
to amplify the message, of course, in some cases-More
posted by Gail
|I see this
as any other artist would, it's just another medium for
use of expressing the same thought. A painter may debate
which medium better expresses his vision (watercolor,
acrylic, oil,tempura, etc.), but he cannot argue the fact,
that it is still a painting.
posted by g.alexis
I see it, any web site that can capture the attention
of today's youth and is devoted to poetry, no matter what
the genre, is, indeed, a welcomed addition to the ranks
of poetic ambition. I believe the next "Bard of Poetry"
(Bukowski!) will cut their poetic teeth on the 'net...
I have read some of the best (and worst!) poetry from
authors I would have never had a chance to read, thanks
to the advent of the home computer.
posted by RLF
remain poetry whatever form it might take. Herman Hesse
in The Glass Bead Game writes of a group of intellectuals
who knit together different mediums to create something
that is, artistically, a much greater whole. For example
a mathematician might use a Japanese shakahachi flute
piece to illustrate the harmony of his mathematical principles.
I believe we are closer to achieveing status as Glass
Bead Game players. For me, a poet, graphic artist and
musician, this is a hugely exciting medium. It allows
a vast spectrum of freedom in expression. I can choose
the words, the colour and the sound.
posted by Averil
posted by Jim
| I was intrigued
by what Matthew G. Kirschenbaum had
to say in your editorial introduction. The professor
of English at the University of Maryland whose focus is
humanities computing noted that the poems on this site
are constrained because they are written from within "a
particular software application." He says, "there
is a uniformity to the pieces on the Poems That Go site,
mainly because of software design limitations."
That's true, of course, but it's also true of any medium:
it's just as true of poetry that uses only words. Until
poets and artists can transcend their medium and make
it invisible to themselves -- until all the mechanics
of artistic production become so fluid that they are transparent
-- then all works will have a "uniformity."
It was not until after years of hard work as a photojournalist
that my camera, attachments, and all the darkroom decisions
disappeared as I worked. Only then could I take the pictures
I wanted because all the production mechanics were subsumed
in the moment of making. Similarly, this new medium --
whether it's Flash or HTML or whatever -- will only be
able to mature when -- like a potter's clay, wheel, tooling,
and kiln -- the medium disappears and leaves behind the
transmuted experience itself.
We need to be very patient,
observant, and supportive.
posted by Paul
Paul ... excellent observations
about the interface !! This is a subject that always
causes a lot of discussion whenever writers of web literature
meet (read new media/hypermedia ... although new media
is actually a term that the arts world laid claim to
some time back as Judy Malloy (ArtsWire) reminded me
in a past Riding the Meridian round table discussion).
Today, and for the last year, Flash has been the tool
of choice for hypermedia poetry, whereas a few years
book. Go a bit further back, before the web, and we'd
be talking about StorySpace or Hypercard. One could
even take a look further back into the late 80's and
the work that some poets were doing on computers like
the Amiga with then state of the art art/design/animation
What strikes me is how difficult it is for any interface
for creating 'literature' to become transparent when
the programming tools are constantly evolving, and how
at this present time, what 'writers' create is so strongly
affected by the technology given to them by large companies
like Macromedia, or by web browser display decisions
made by Netscape (version 6 was a disaster for most
pre 2000 coded DHTML).
So it goes. Frustrating, inspiring,
costly (how much is Flash 5 now??). It'll be interesting
to see what we're all coding with two years from now.
posted by Jennifer
|I am surprised
and a liitle disappointed that so much of this discussion
is taken up with points about the genre. However interesting
and vauable such concerns are surely they are very secondary
to what is actually said and promted in a Poem. Don't
get me wrong, of course I recognise that how and what
being said are inextricably linked, a badly imparted idea
cannot be overwhelmed by the strength of the original
idea(s), but surely there an be more discussion about
how we feel about the ideas and emotions being prompted.
posted by Andrew
|As a secondary
English teacher, I'm glad I stumbled across this web site...this
format may have a wider appeal to my students; perhaps
a few will be inspired to put some of their own poetry
into this format.
My biggest reservation regarding
this format is that the images and visual tricks may
give poorly thought out poetry an appealing vaneer which
the words by themselves couldn't evoke. Our attention
may become distracted by the visuals thus making us
less critical and more acceptant of anything, regardless
of quality (especially considering the advances each
subsequent program will have.)
posted by SuzA
that are included with the poems may distract our thoughts
and we may find ourselves paying more attention to the
picture than to the poem itself.
posted by chrissy
these last two comments represent a common criticism of
new media poetry--that images put readers at risk by not
encouraging critical engagement with a poem. Images regarded
as "visual tricks" are seen as a distraction
from the true form of poetry--traditional text-based or
written form. In the case of new media poetry, are images
separate from the "poem"? These questions are
important for examining any visual work--do images merely
lull us into believing anything is "good" if
it conforms to some visual design? What about film? Do
we know a movie is good because post-production work wows
us? Are we at risk in mistaking some dumbed-down Hollywood
blockbuster for a masterpiece because big budget productions
somehow disintegrate any critical capacity we might have
posted by Megan
Iím very excited I found this site.
If as a research tool is great, as a stage for digital
poetry is fantastic. Thank you Megan and Ingrid for
this space you have created. Now, I want to share my
perspective about visual poetry with you. For the past
six years Iíve been invited to participate in many Biennials
and Visual/Experimental Poetry Festivals around the
world. Some of the people I have met are Clemente Padin,
Fernando Aguiar, Jaap Blonk, Klaus Groh, Harry Polkingorn,
and Loss PequeŮo Glazier, among others. Probably you
know some of these names. Most of the works that these
people create is called Visual Poetry / Polipoetry,
Experimental Poetry, and other similar names. Iíve saw/experienced
thousands of works related to these fields, and Iíve
tried to feel and understand these works in the same
way I experience poetry, no matter if itís written,
oral or pictorial poetry (like a Van Goghís paint).
As Antonio said at the beginning
of this discussion, the medium is not an issue if poetry
is there. But how do you know that poetry is there?
Maybe is an intuition, a feeling that transcends the
meaning and makes your senses blink like a police siren.
I didnít find that in almost all the works of these
ďpoets.Ē Visual Poets tried to become artists through
poetry while Conceptualists tried to become poets through
art, but something didnít work well, poetry wasnít there,
instead, there was a primitive aim of reaching poetry
just by playing with letters, space, and developing
funny fonts. But somehow, they lost the content, they
lost the poetry, and all these movements started to
be decadent and obsolete. But how poetry can be obsolete?
The question is easy, it canít. My conclusion is that
all this visual/sonic approaches to poetry were experiments
to set up a strong interface between poetry as content
and poetry as object, an interface that we have now
and that many non-traditional poets are producing.
Finally, I want to encourage
all the poets/artists to keep working and finding new
ways from the infinite list of possibilities that language
has to offer, so we can keep experience this amazing
entity called poetry.
posted by Yucef Merhi
|I feel as
though the works in this site are pre interpreted. the
more visual trickery, masterfull or not, the less any
reader/viewer will do for themselves. is the intention
of a poem to inspire individual interpretations? does
a poem not live and grow by the unique interpretations
of the reader/viewer? certainly the author has a significant
role. they produce their creations with a skill, and set
about a particular direction for the interpreter. the
imagination powers the model. these visual interpretations
foist a certain finished interpretation.
posted by p.stuard
Why are images "visual trickery"?
Does the inclusion of visual components absolve the
reader/viewer from interpretive work? I don't think
it does. This might require different work, but I still
think it requires work.
Traditional poetry is considered
"bad" when it uses worn-out metaphors that
fail to enliven our perceptions or evoke a clear image
in our minds, while "good" art modifies our
habitual ways of thinking, feeling and perceiving. Bringing
poetry to visual media means there will inevitably be
other worn out metaphors, such as tired ways of using
motion, obvious visual metaphors, interactivity just
for the sake of it.
Looking back through the archives
of projects featured in this site, some work falls
victim to these problems. Recognizing and discussing
how new media poetry can fail, or as Yucef put it a
few posts above this one, when "poetry's not there"
can help poets create more meaningful work in new media,
and help audiences to critically approach these new
forms. Although some work in PTG does a better job evoking
meaningful, significant moments of critical reflection
than others, we shouldn't hold the successfull investigations
accountable for the new media poem that fails to do
The word "poetry" comes
from the classical Greek sense of poiesis, meaning "calling
into existence," and is about constructing, deconstructing,
and reconstructing the world. I don't think we should
images = loss of imagination.
posted by Megan
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