Visual Poetry: A Reason Why

Simple answer: it looks neat.

Complicated answer:

Why shouldn’t the page carry its weight? We’re not on Gutenberg, typeset printers or something. We’re not only capable of printing one line of text after another, maybe turning a line upside down. We can do really amazing things, so why not do them?

I like to think that the page can speak as much as the language, and that’s what visual poetry brings to the table.

Maybe I should say poetry with visual elements—something to keep from naming a single style.

When I talk about visual poetry, I mean everything from e.e. Cummings’ “a leaf falls loneliness” to Susan Howe’s collages in “That/This” to Douglas Kearney’s brilliant and living collage, nonce pieces. Basically, if it goes outside the typical expectations of stanza forms and looks like something or exists in its own peculiar, meaningful way, then I’ll probably enjoy it.

Standing Under the Sun

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