Grace: In my first book, womango, I experimented with several concrete poems
as a way of seeing my city as a compression of sorts, a small island packed with much growth, people, and material things, and the concrete poem
with a compacted space on a white page seemed like the perfect physical manifestation of an island floating on the ocean of globalization.
These included the poetic determination to use "the word (sound, visual form, fixed concepts) as compositional material rather than a vehicle of interpretation of the objective world," a determination that, for the concrete poem
, means "its structure is its true content" (de Campos 2007, 237).
The exhibition's title borrows from Marinetti's onomatopoeically titled Zang Tumb Tuuum (1914), his concrete poem
about the Battle of Adrianople and hymn to the belligerence that would soon arrive on Italian shores.
South African poet Michael Chapman's stark (https://www.amazon.com/Paperbook-South-African-English-poetry/dp/0868521094) "Concrete Poem
" (1986) illustrates it powerfully:
Another embroidered work, Desire/Dread/Despair, 2012, takes the form of a concrete poem
. Using only the three names Ariadne, Theseus, and Phaedra, each repeated to form a square block of text, the artist creates a nine-square grid in which certain letters are embroidered with colored thread, causing the words in the work's title to pop out from the black embroidered litanies.
AG What is more potentially cheesy and treacherous than a concrete poem
in this day and age, right?
In their manifesto "Plana-Piloto para Poesia Concreta" (1958), the illustrious Brazilian trio of Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos, and Decio Pignatari define concretism as the "tension of word-things in space-time." That is, the concrete poem
opens up a "verbivocovisual" "linguistic area" that maximizes the differing capacities of "digital" textual representation and "analogical" graphic design, but does not reconcile the two.
For May 29, Pink Flamingo Day, Lewis presents a concrete poem
: "A Flamingo is a long cooooooooool drink of pink," presented in pink font and in the shape of a flamingo.
A recent instance is a sort of concrete poem
distributed in postcard form by the expatriate New Zealander Jason Lofts, resident in "the unlikely place of the Principality of Liechtenstein," who "has designed an alternative souvenir of his home country.
The second item, "traffic", is a concrete poem
about mad consumerism and traffic mayhem which reduces in triangular shape down to the last line, containing the single word cars.
I write a concrete poem
about the oil spill swimming in the ocean alone, because it has 'drowned' (really it has killed) everything else.
My latest, my largest concrete poem
yet, is an acrostic made from the various spellings of the word Cardiff as recorded by history.