A few days back i mentioned about a term that was new to me called “Constructive Poetry”. Now the most important question – WHAT IS CONCRETE POETRY?
Poetry in which the meaning or effect is conveyed partly or wholly by visual means, using patterns of words or letters and other typographical devices is known as concrete poetry. While it is conveyed inside a shape, visualizing it, it is also called shape poetry.
This type of poetry has been used for thousands of years, since the ancient Greeks began to enhance the meanings of their poetry by arranging their characters in visually pleasing ways back in the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC.
A famous example is “The Mouse’s Tale” from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The shape of the poem is a pun on the word tale/tail, as the words follow a long wiggling line getting smaller and smaller and ending in a point.
The name “Concrete Poetry,” however, is from the 1950’s, when a group of Brazilian poets called the Noigandres held an international exhibition of their work, and then developed a “manifesto” to define the style.
let me give you some examples:
A common way to make the visual structure reflect the subject of the poem is to fill an outline shape that relates to the topic of the poem, in the same way that Carroll’s poem fits the outline of a mouse’s tail.
Here is an example about a snowman:
- Choose an object to be the subject for your poem. Good suggestions for beginners could be favorite animals or favorite foods.
- Draw a simple outline of its shape on paper or on the computer. If you’re using paper, draw with a pencil not a pen.
- Write your poem normally. Try to describe how the subject makes you feel. The words will be fitted into your drawing, so don’t make it too long – between 6-12 lines is probably a good length!
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO RHYME!
So, Todays prompt is gonna be a bit tedious :p – Can we all try writing a concrete poem? Yes ofcourse we can.
Concrete, pattern, or shape poetry is an arrangement of linguistic elements in which the typographical effect is more important in conveying meaning than verbal significance. It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has now developed a distinct meaning of its own.
Choose any topic of your type. Why not draw your poetry (like above example) and show us the image (don’t forget to link back). If you are a computer design software expert – you can make it on computer 🙂
- Lightly in pencil, or on the computer, write your poem into the shape. It’s ok if it doesn’t fit properly yet, because this is where you find out if you need to make the writing larger or smaller.
- Decide if you need to make your writing bigger or smaller in certain parts of the drawing, then erase your first draft and write out the poem again. You can keep doing this until you are happy.
- Finally, erase the outline of your shape, so that it is just the words from your poem left creating the image! If you were writing in pencil, you can now go over the words in pen!
- (In my example I added the ‘brrr…’s afterwards to make the picture look better, but without interrupting the story of the poem. If you want to try details like this, think of comic-book-style effect words like ‘flash’, ‘purr’, ‘phew’ or ‘zzzz…’ to add another element to the story-picture!)
Another way to make concrete poetry is to use the lines of words to make the lines of a drawing.
Put up the links in comments 🙂
Stay Poetic, Stay Happy