Week 7

Week 7 (July 2-8): Decreation, Post-Humanism, Visual Poetry


Poems useful for exploring poetic decreation:

  1. John Keats, “When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be
  2. Emily Dickinson, [“I heard a Fly buzz — when I died“] (465)
  3. Elizabeth Bishop. “One Art
  4. Howard Nemerov, “The Vacuum
  5. Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West
  6. W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats

Poems useful for exploring found and Flarf poetry:

  1. Vanessa Place, “Miss Scarlett
  2. Howard Nemerov, “Found Poem
  3. K. Silem Mohammad, “Spooked” (the poet’s reading is here.)
  4. Katie Degentesh, “I Sometimes Tease Animals” (scroll down)

Visual poems:

Look at the emailed pdf of Brian McAllister’s “Narrative in Concrete / Concrete in Narrative: Visual Poetry and Narrative Theory” and examine the following visual poems:

  • Ernst Jandl, “The Creation of Eve”
  • Eugen Gomringer, “Silencio” (which we also met last week)
  • Ian Hamilton Finlay, “Foam”
  • Finlay, “Tea Kettle Drum Water Lily Cup”

Also, for solidarity purposes, this found visual poem (brought to us by our friend at Byzantium Books):


Instructional Content:

  1. Self-Elegies and Decreation
  2. Found Poetry
  3. Posthuman Poetry
  4. Case Study: Flarf
  5. Visual Poetry
  6. Final Illustration Project Instructions

Task List:

  1. Monday, 7/2: View the content under “This Week” on the site banner menu for week seven, including the linked poems and my instructional pages. The poems this week are in three groups of five corresponding to the three subsections in the instructional pages.
  2. Monday, 7/2: Think carefully about decreation (a human being’s attempt to imagine what it would be like to be conscious after death; a gradual saying good-bye to humanity). Pick one of the poems from the first subsection above and compose a blog post in which you paraphrase such an attempt and illustrate how the poem tries to accomplish this superhuman (or inhuman, if you like) feat.
  3. Tuesday, 7/3:  Make sure you have read through the link for “Found Poetry.” Then travel to this link and complete the activity. IMPORTANT: Be careful to hit “share your poem” and post to twitter before exiting. You can also take a screenshot before you submit your finished poem, and then tweet that. Then take to twitter and respond to my initial prompt, which will be up by 5pm EDT, being sure to attach the screenshot to your tweet or to retweet a modified link to your poem (use MT for ‘modified tweet’) this time using the course hashtag. Remember to use the #vizpoem hashtag in every tweet for my course. The rest of the day’s conversation (and Wednesday’s) can be spent responding to each other’s found poems and responding to my redirects about who the personae of these poems are, and how we would need to revise our idea of authorship to account for them.
  4. Thursday, 7/5: Read my illustration example post about decreation and Haroldo de Campos’ “SOS,” to be found under the Examples menu link, and tweeted to #vizpoem by end of day. If I find time I will also write up a second post on a special mystery poem, which will be W. H. Auden’s “In Memory of W. B. Yeats.”
  5. Thursday 7/5: Read through instructional pages 3-5 above. Compose a blog post in which you contemplate how visual and posthuman poetries challenge conventional literary techniques for establishing persona and (by inference) authorship. Use examples from the second and third subsections of the reading list for this week. Also read through the Final Illustration Project instructions and think about which sort of project you wish to complete. (All you have to do is think for now. The project is due next week).
  6. Friday, 7/6:  Take to twitter for another twitter convo! NOTE: If you travel down to the Sunday link (#9) you’ll see we have another recap blog post due — so it’ll be for the best if you favorite or otherwise copy tweets that you plan to narrate in your post as it’s going along rather than combing through tweets later on.
  7. Friday 7/6: Read my interview with Justin Tran, a visual designer and former student of mine, which I will post and tweet out by midnight under the “Recaps” tab.
  8. Friday 7/6: Recall our conversations from the first week of this semester, in which we tried to define what poetry is, discovered that it was really difficult to define what poetry is, and then tried the slightly easier task of distinguishing between poetry and novels (or plays). Now compose a blog post in which you come up with a definition of visual poetry by deducing the differences between visual design and visual poetry. Post by end of day.
  9. Sunday, 7/8: Weekly recap: Compose a reflective blog post that mentions and embeds at least three tweets (yours can be included) as you display the ones you felt were most successful in speaking for the class’s learning consensus from this week.

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