World Poetry Day

Someone else questioning what poetry is, I’m really pleased to see this. A very interesting post, looking at what poetry is, from a different angle is quite an interesting take in comparison to my own post.

Scratch That

Given World Poetry Day was yesterday, the 21st of March, I figured I’d write a little something about poetry. Which, of course, led me to the very first and most obvious question. Below, you’ll find both question and answer (sort of, not really, maybe, ask me again, and it will change.)

What is poetry? 

It’s life.

Poetry has taught me to be concise but if you need more than that, I suppose I can elaborate. Poetry is akin to the ocean. We’ve lived in and around it for thousands of years, we’ve explored it in every way we know how, and as the years go on, the more we realise how little we know. There are unplumbed depths we may never reach. Every time we think we know all the different kinds of poem in the ocean, we see a new poem – a poem that changes gender before our…

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Poems, Pics and Vids

Poetry as a written piece to read alone is often interpreted in our minds, we visualise what we are reading as we follow the narrative of the poem. The thing about reading is, every single one of us is likely to read and interpret a poem in a different way to how it was read and intended to be perceived. Something that I think helps with helping readers interpret poems is visual based content like, photos and videos. It is easier for someone to visualise the narrative of a poem by seeing clips or photos that relate.

The idea of using multimedia to boost understanding and interest, it shows adaption. I would say the majority of popular poets out there that have a sufficient fan base, have published, CD’s, uploaded performance videos or have experimented with audio overlaying a video that relates to their poem topic.

This poems, pics and vids approach works well especially sharing online; it has become rather successful especially on social media site. This is because hardly anybody has time to read a long block text poem, but they do have time to watch and listen. There is a notion that as time has gone on we have become impatient, we want everything instantly with minimal effort. I personally think that’s why these poetry videos have accrued and I’m sure there are others that also think this.

We are in the digital age everyone is hooked up to continuous flowing material; it’s easy for us to find anything, anywhere at any time.  It’s all about exposure, a lot of videos based on poems will show a poet performing, this makes viewers feel connected visually and emotionally, this is because we can hear their voice, the tone, the narrative and its intentions. We can also see the poet, we can read their body language, we feel like we are on the same level, I’m a person and so is he/she. Poetry has broken this boundary of paper and books; it has started to feed our visual cravings.

Poetry will never ever become just an online source but I think that videos, audio and images will get more and more integrated in to poetry online. Which over time could boost some more interest, poetry performance is very popular in America currently, there is movement here in the UK, events are held and videos do go viral, the exposure is present but the popularity is lacking. The more these videos circulate, the number of views will rise, which at a steady pace should show a rise in popularity.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Poem of the Day – Shel Silverstein – Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I chose this poem because I thought this poem was quite strong, its very short and to the point. There is a clear beginning, middle and end, sometimes with other poems this gets lost with the vast amount of paragraphs. Shel Silverstein retains with well, this poem is quite sober in a way, I almost feel its like she has this idea of where she wants to be but she isn’t there yet.

From Paper to the Web

DSC_0156As technology has progressed we have had to adapt. We now have access to millions of online sources. As we have adapted to the use of the World Wide Web, we have witnessed the internet progress from a basic format to being able to create high quality sites, pages and posts. Everything is linked to an online source, to spread the word and increase popularity, not only that but these sites are accessible anywhere. Most forms of literature are now available to download to computers and products such as kindle. This applies to most forms of literature, books, poetry, articles, newspapers and many other formats.

Poetry is popular but it’s not advertised which causes a decline in the exposure of poetry in society. It is obvious that literature will always have a place in society but will continue to decline as technology progresses. What is clear to see through the progression from paper to the internet, is bringing poetry into the modern age by using a mixture of text, video and photos which works to increase interest in poetry. There are a range of sites and most are linked to social media sites, such as facebook, twitter and youtube. For the majority these links show a reasonable online presence but not always a following that would create a long lasting effect.

It is not only the progression to online we are witnessing when it comes to increasing the awareness and popularity of poetry. A rise in performance, spoken word poetry is overtaking written based; this seems to be the latest trend. This modern take on poetry captures the true intensity of a poem; minimal interpretation is need from the view. Whereas when reading a poem it is very easy to read the context, narrative direction and emotion wrong. These performances are posted online in multimedia style posts, video footage of the performance itself and audio which is considered visually pleasing.

For poetry blogs/websites to run successfully there needs to be a variety of content and context to gain and maintain interest from online audiences. These sites are one of the main ways to keep poetry alive as well as making people aware of events and news. These sites much like poetry literature will not disappear as long as there is interest.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014