Impressive concrete -- uh, graphic -- sites
     (and some other impressive sites, for that matter)
   "What's that picture supposed to--? . . . Oh. I get it."
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There are some wonderful sites on the Internet concerning graphic--or concrete--poetry, and/or including some of such poetry. From time to time, I'll put a few of these here. I've just started doing this . . . (Please e-mail me with suggestions.)

And there will also be a few mentions of good sites concerning poetry for children.  

** The most extensive site I've yet found on this topic is the one designed and run by Michael Garafalo, who has gathered a wide-ranging collection of styles, sites, and examples, including some of his own striking works of graphic/verbal art. This is well worth a visit: 
Concrete - VisualPoetry  [Lettering is taken from the site.]

** The delightfully pastel site of writers Gloria T. Delamar and William T. Delamar has a perceptive discussion of what they call "shaped poetics" and some charming examples of it, too.

** Another graphic treat: The Museum of Visual Poetry. (Hint: don't be afraid to get your cursor wet when you drop by.)

** Here's a site with background on the history of the term "concrete poetry."

** Authorities agree that the term "concrete poetry" dates from the 1950s (though the concept, like most concepts, has precursors--for instance, George Herbert's work). Despite its partly playful aspect, this was and is often considered a form of serious work. For example, this is from a QUESTIONNAIRE OF THE YALE SYMPOSIUM ON EXPERIMENTAL, VISUAL AND CONCRETE POETRY SINCE THE 1960'S (April 5-7, 1995), including an interview with Augusto de Campos, who said that: "I think that the task of Concrete poetry, after it appeared in the 50s, was to reestablish contact with the poetry of the vanguards of the beginning of the century (Futurism, Cubofuturism, Dada et alia). . ."

** In fact, some of us who create concrete poetry may learn that--somewhat like Moliere's Monsieur Jourdain, thrilled to find he could speak prose without lessons --we have been postmodern without even taking the entrance exam. (This may be pleasing; or alarming; or, in a postmodernly fashion, both.)

For example: "Following Jacques Derrida, who deconstructs the 'post' in postmodernism, [the critic Stephen Scobie] concludes that 'Concrete Poetry, although its basic orientation is modernist and metaphoric, unravels into postmodern metonymy.' " From a review of Scobie's Earthquakes and Explorations: Language and Painting from Cubism to Concrete Poetry, by Jack Steward in Canadian Literature, Winter 2002.


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