Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Initial Reactions

My initial response to e-poetry based on the pieces assigned so far is that this field is intriguing, but might take a little while to get use to working with. The poems that were apart of the first assignment gave me a good idea of the basics of electronic poetry and how it is going to differ from reading poetry in a book. The first main difference is that electronic poetry is interactive and grabs the reader’s attention more quickly than a page of text would. Electronic poetry has movement, pictures, color, backgrounds, and sound, which allows the reader to gather a different understanding of the poem than if they had just read it on a page. Also having ‘extras’ in the poem, like pictures and sound, gives the reader an idea of what the creator of the e-poem, who is not necessarily the poet, is trying to depict about their particular understanding of the poem. E-poetry allows for two different people to use the same poem, but create two completely different e-poetry readings, just by the different uses of color, pictures, sound, and type of interaction.
The poems that were used in the first assignment were: “The Best Cigarette” by Billy Collins, “Nine: puzzling through several lives” by Jason E. Lewis, and “A Man Young and Old: III. The Mermaid” by William Butler Yeats. “The Best Cigarette,” I felt, gave the poem an extra edge to it because it was being read to its audience, which allows for a certain understanding of the poem just because of way that certain words were spoken and/or stressed, giving the poem’s listeners’ a look into the way the reader understood the poem. Also in this poem, the pictures of cigarettes, wine glasses, and the typewriter pretending to be a train in the background added to the poem and did not take away from the speaker. In “Nine,” I liked the way it used the form of a sliding puzzle to hide the words of the poem, which gave it a deeper meaning in the way that poem was about understanding lives and you have to figure out the sliding puzzle to finish the poem and understand life. Also I liked that when you held down the left mouse button on a puzzle piece, the picture would change. “The Mermaid” was just the poem’s title on a magenta background, with nine copies of the poem around it, going in different directions. I did not care for this e-poem as well as the others since it did not add anything to the poem, it was just mainly interactive.

I believe with time, I will really like electronic poetry and just not appreciate it.

The picture was taken from the e-poem of Billy Collins's "The Best Cigarette" and shows the typewriter pretending to be a train that is meantioned in the second paragraph.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that you work from the assumption that the electronic elements should "add" something to the text poem. It almost seems as if you think the electronic elements are meant to help the reader.

    As you go through the semester, heed Hayles' warning not to look at e-poetry in just the same ways we look at print poetry. If you look at the annoying interactivity of "Mermaid" for example as making it's own meaning (rather than helping), you can get some insight into why the e-poem has its own merits.

    This is a thorough and thoughtful first response, though. So I look forward to reading more throughout the semester.