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Posts Tagged ‘visual poetry’

In these past few years of my reading life, it has begun to occur to me that there are far too many words in the world. Paradoxically, I insist on adding more as I contemplate this idea. But there it is—the superfluity of words within nearly every book I open. So many pieces of writing must struggle to conform in length and quality of content, that they end up all sounding similar, repeating ideas, or fleshing out arguments that are already corpulent. Over-indulged. Excessive. Unnecessary, much like a convenience store on every other corner. I find myself skimming through books to find the meatiest tidbits. Why can’t we say much more with very much less? It seems to me that would be the most elegant way of getting a point across. I do want to throw my ideas out into the world, along with all the others; I don’t want to add to the glut of mediocrity that is contemporary literature. Not that I think that my ideas or expressions are in any way superior: I simply would like to find a short and poignant way of bringing them to the minds of others.

Poetry is a fantastic means of saying much with very little. But I am not confident that my poetry is, how do I say this—very good. And “poetry” is a word of such raging connotations, much like “vegan,” which can cause the average person to turn up their nose before they even give it a taste.

So how to reach an audience (it doesn’t have to be a large one) without blending in to the background before I even get a chance to speak? How can I get my words into other people’s heads?

Let’s try this: brevity; physicality; imagery.

I can combine short writing/poetry with craft and photography to create a visual conduit for my thoughts. The possibilities are staggering. In how many different ways can I leave a verbal mark on the physical world, document it, and then share it with anyone who might be interested to see? The physical nature might add gravity to the words I want to say. Elements of photography and imagery can add an element of mystery, by blurring out words, or adding context, etc. I really am excited to start this project. I feel as though it has so much potential. I can be serious or light-hearted. I can stretch my creativity within my chosen media. I can find clever ways to use new media to make an impression. I believe it was Jenny Holzer who created the truisms? I can emulate her style, using non-traditional ways to get people to look at my words, to remember them, to contemplate what they might mean.

A striking piece by Jenny Holzer

Consider how many times someone has said, “I wish I had that embroidered on a pillow.” It can be ironic. It can be controversial, even. It can be so many things, and I can’t wait to explore what all it can be.

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