A long and strange wander/wonder (ings)

The final assignment is relatively easy.  Answer the following questions:

What insights (both practical and theoretical) have you gained into the poem/poems that you have studied? What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about hypermedia?

Lets play with these both. As I find it so very hard to separate the two these days. The two being poetry and hypermedia, and days being time, or the artificial measurement of the earth spinning. They say the earth is slowing down, and days millions of years ago were half of what they are today. So perhaps early humans lived to be hundreds of years old, simply because everything was so much faster. But I digress. Yes, yes I do.

Back to the original point. When I think of poetry I think of interface and movement and sound. Words are always attached to navigation and color and image. So both questions (and in fact it appears all the questions posed here) are great friends, separated by long distances and speaking different languages. But again a digression.

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Week 5: abstraction, emergence

I just wrote a thank note to Davin for orchestrating epoetica – I haven’t had many opportunities lately to have FUN with thinking, reading, writing but this really has been a pleasure! And I’m completely grateful to those who have taken the time and car to read and respond to posts. If I had any suggestions for future epoeticas, I’d ask: can we do this again?? and perhaps invite more and/or other people to contribute? And of course, it’s also clear that we need to engage with each other more – a strange side-effect of virtual communication is either abundant, easy e-conversations or, as the poetics listserv can sometimes illustrate, a series of individuals talking to themselves, airing their own theories. Epoetica has abundant possibilities for collaboration and conversation and we really have yet to make the most of this forum.

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Week 4: Responding to Lori and Zephyr

I was planning to respond to the assignment for week 4, focusing on the ideas that I had been developing over the last several weeks.  I found postings by Lori and Zephyr, and my path, quite appropriately, forked away from what I had intended to write about to something new.

Reading Lori’s entry on Karpinski and Howe’s open.ended,  which  ties previous discussions about three-dimensionality to the current one about chance, I was reminded of a work which I had forgotten about, but which I want to share: Brooke M. Campbell’s Choose Your Own Sexuality from Rhizomes 8.  Campbell’s piece combines poetry, biography, and history under the familiar form of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel to create a queer biography of Emily Dickinson.  Campbell’s piece takes seriously the implications of queer scholarship, shedding light on the general import of such work:  The author is often just as much what he or she is as what he or she isn’t and that creative works reflect this similar tension.  Decision-making is not simply the rational evaluation of two choices, rather they are heavily laden with cultural expectations, social frameworks, habits, law, and deep desires.  Though Campbell’s piece uses the familiar framework of binary choices, the fact that Campbell’s piece is based on actual historical events loads the choices up with the questions: “What happened?” and “What do we want to happen?”  The effect is not to simply fork the work, but to play in the imaginative spaces between the choices, to speculate about possibility.

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Week Four: open.ended

I’ve long loved the aesthetic of Aya Karpinska’s/Daniel C. Howe’s three-dimensional poem space in open.ended. Although I’m not sure that there’s a substantial, thorough-going literary engagement here (lines such as “Eyes closed / I am / Anywhere” don’t particularly grab me), open.ended … entrances me. Here’s how the authors describe their work:

With real-time 3D rendering & dynamic text generation, open.ended attempts to refigure the poetic experience through spatialization & interaction. As visitors manipulate a joystick to control interlocking geometric surfaces, stanzas, lines, & words move slowly in & out of focus, while dynamically updating text maintains semantic coherence. Order is deliberately ambiguous & multiple readings encouraged as meaning is actively & spatially constructed in collaborative fashion & new potentials for juxtaposition, association & interpretation are revealed.

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Week 2: on context: “you agree that it is a fashionable grocery list”

Still! thinking about Williams…and this week’s topic of context is a perfect fit for this passage, tacked onto the end of Part II of “Book Two” of Paterson. In response to his interviewer claiming that certain passages from Paterson “sound just like a fashionable grocery list”, Williams responds: “It is a fashionable grocery list.”

Q: Well – is it poetry?

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