Some Thoughts on Visual/Concrete Poetry

It’s about getting past practical uses of language.

There has to be a pragmatic reason, one that draws a reader away from what it’s supposed to mean while leading them closer to what it actually means in the form, shape, character’s life on the page.

To view a single letter as a thing unto itself.

There has to be more creative weight, economy, or purpose to the written object or the written piece (stanza[s]) than the sole purpose of representing a sound or stream of sounds in an utterance.

With visual elements on the page a piece is alive, moving, breathing.

On the page, it is the eye that understands what is happening. To give it no more than phonetic representations is a denial of potential information production.

A round shape verses a square shape changes the meaning of a poem about seasons.

A vertical triangle verses an inverted triangle vastly changes the meaning of a poem about Christianity.

One word sprawled out across an entire page means something different than that same word scrunched into the smallest corner of the same page, or that same word repeated a thousand times across a page.

Without visual ques, we ignore the eye to the point of it being a servant to speech.

Writing is a visual and a verbal act. Poems should realize this.  

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