poetry off the page – sound & vision

“..a poet has to teach the reader how to read each poem. While it was not my original intention, I can see that animated poems could serve as a reader’s guide to my own system of poetics: they demonstrate the way I invite the reader to approach the text from several directions and allow phrases to interact vertically as well as horizontally, and refer back within the text itself through parallel structures (spacial and grammatical). At the moment, I don’t see the animations as a replacement for the poems on the page: I like the A4 frame and compose within that space first. However, it will be interesting to see if working with animation influences the way I compose poetry.”

Ren Powell is undertaking some remarkable explorations on her blog AnimaPoetics. There are of course millions of ways to take a poem “off the page” and I find myself both mildly haunted by the limitless possibilities suggested by the concept and often disappointed by what’s actually out there (although this piece, featuring paintings by Janet Snell and a poem by Belinda Subraman, recently stirred some chords for me).

It seems that everything is being taken to a new level in Ren’s work, though. Check it out. I’ve enjoyed all the pieces she has put together recently, especially A Primer and Hydrotherapy.

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

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