Cool Toys Pic of the day – NaPoMo + Vispo


National Poetry Month (Canada):

This one is a freebie. It isn’t exactly a Cool Toy, but I figure it is
the weekend, and so I can get away with it. This is the final day of
National Poetry Month (NaPoMo) and National Poetry Writing Month
(NaPoWriMo). There is a Canadian online exhibit in honor of the
month’s activities focusing on the visual art of poetry, otherwise
known as Visual Poetry (VisPo). Very interesting exhibit. I
methodically started at the beginning and worked my way through each

Some of these seem less poetry and more visual art occasionally
informed by words, but when you say “Visual Poetry” I think one must
be flexible about where those boundaries lie. There have been debates
for generations about whether the words or the music (or the voice?)
are more important to songs, and this seems to be a similar boundary
spanning creative effort. Many of the individual pieces provided ideas
for teaching with or about arts and poetry through taking advantage of
these types of efforts to bridge barriers between disciplines. This
also raised questions for several viewers of just where those
boundaries lie, and what do they mean? Quite a bit of provocative
discussion on the email list that brought this to my attention. So is
poetry, like beauty, in the eye and ear of the beholder?

#3 seemed more “Found Words” than either visual art or poetry.

I have a substantial collection of Found Words in my Flickr stream,
but wouldn’t have considered them to be poetry. That doesn’t mean they
couldn’t be.

Two Torsos seemed to focus on questioning the role of language in
communication, since communication is clearly happening in the image,
and language is obviously being used and meaning conveyed, but all
without a single word in evidence.

For many of them the bios were at least as interesting as the work
presented, if not more so.

That intrigued me, since this sort of thing is fairly common in the
visual arts, and is part of why my daughter has largely excluded
herself from the academic and formal visual arts community. She
doesn’t want to be asked for words to go with her images, she wants
the images to speak on their own. She doesn’t want to be asked to
explain her persona, she wants to live it. Interesting to see here
that same adoption of the development of the character or persona of
the artist through words.

As someone working in medical environs, I found “Thought” intriguing,
although I am still puzzling through it to try to detect whether there
is a presence of deconstructed formal meaning or if it is simply
intended to be evocative.

As a fiber artist, I enjoyed the alphabet, but would definitely NOT
consider it a poem.

“Lines Scratched on Stone” provokes other questions in a librarian
such as myself, since it is part of the Altered Book movement, with
the page torn from an old book, of which I can make out a fragment of
the title and snippets of the text, but am unable to locate a scanned
copy of the book available online. I always find it a little
disturbing to witness deconstructed books when I am unable to locate a
master copy. There is probably one somewhere …

Some of them were not well served by being online. I suspect that
Archipelago might have been more interesting and conceptually
provocative if only I could have gotten close enough to read the

I found “Code Interpretation” incredibly effective and hysterically
funny, but then I hang out with people who write code.

I loved the cyclical meditation on life and death in “Night (Remix)”,
the swastika spinning of the poem fragments.

“Katya & Clarence: The Wedding” was clever and doable. It might make
an interesting assignment concept for students.

Ditto for “How to Build a Bomb Shelter for the Web.”

“Is Anything Wrong” really made a nice capstone piece culminating the series.


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