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Sunday Scribblings #52: Literally Visual Treats and More to Share

Today’s post is about literally visual treats or is it visually literal? I am referring to my Poetic Sundays; sorry not a recipe though I will add a picture of some treats and a recipe link too simply because!! And like last time, I am also including the Cybils Awards Roundup for Nonfiction Reads – this is the third roundup…

Sunday Scribblings #51: Cybils Awards Roundup Two and More

Poetic Sundays

Concrete Poetry

A traditional form in time for the holidays…. concrete poetry or shape poetry.

What is Concrete Poetry? Maybe Literally Visual Treats?

Concrete Poetry is poetry whose visual appearance matches the subject/object of the poem. It can do this in a few different ways:

  • follow the outline of the object;
  • fill the shape of the object;
  • write the words on the page in a specific way to form an image or convey the theme of the poem visually

The term shape poetry is closely related to, or can be used interchangeably with the term concrete poetry or visual poetry; difference being that concrete poetry does not always necessarily take the exact shape of the poem’s subject but can convey it visually in other creative ways. See this example from shadowpoetry below:

an angel tumbling
         to earth . . .

While these terms (shape/concrete/visual poetry) might be modern, the idea is not. Shaped poetry can be traced back to the 2nd century BC in Greece. Some examples include poems by Simmias of Rhodes in the shape of the Pteryges (Wings), the Oon (Egg), and the Pelekys (Hatchet).

As for me, I love that it is certainly a cool blending of loved creative forms – both literary and visual – and can easily delight both creator/poet and viewer/reader!

h/t: wikipedia, shadowpoetry

The Shape/Concrete Poem’s Characteristics

So here are this form’s key elements:

  • just one really: Shaped in the form of the subject or visually conveys the poem’s subject/theme effectively

and the possibilities are endless:

  • The poem itself can be rhymed or free verse
  • Can use any other poetry form and fit it into the desired outline
  • It can also be written following the style of a calligram where you arrange words using varied fonts, sizes, calligraphy, and arrange them in curves, slants, and more to fit the theme
  • Of course, you can also use an existing poem to fit into the shape!

Here are a few tips:

  • pick a subject/object/theme close to your heart. For younger poets attempting this, it can be a snowman or a Santa hat for the current season, or a favorite treat (lollipops/ice cream) or an animal.
  • if using paper, you draw a faint outline of the shape before starting to write the poem so you can fi it within the same (or see below)
  • you can look online for images/clipart for the desired outline and either print it out to write on paper, or directly on your device of choice within the image
  • change fonts, sizes, etc (as in calligram note above) to give the visual appeal you want
  • and note that the poem does not need to rhyme (as stated already!) Just go with the feeling..
  • talking about feeling, pick words to fit the theme; considering it is the holiday season now, you could pick wintry words (if in the northern hemisphere) or summery ones for those down south! You can pick Christmassy words or words to do with Hannukah or Kwanzaa or other festivities as you choose.

Some examples — literally visual treats — to inspire you!

Mouse Tale by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
A Calligram
Today’s post is about literally visual treats or is it visually literal? I am referring to my Poetic Sundays - a calligram in this case
Guillaume Apollinaire, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Also look at below links for more inspiration and information:

So don’t the above really look like literally visual treats? Or Visually literal ones? What do you think?

My Example

My attempt (while I am in awe of Brian Bilston’s Needles shape poem here)

The background image is the subject of this poem:)


On the Home Front

Thanksgiving is done and seems a long while ago already!! And Christmas is upon us, well, right around the corner definitely. College applications are almost done save a few; I have crossed the halfway mark on my Cybils reading list (but nowhere near that for the reviewing part of it); nonficNov ended up with me having tons more books on my TBR.

My Blog Posts

From my last Sunday Scribblings

As Promised – More Literally Visual Treats

no recipe here; but these are totally delicious Aebleskivers we enjoyed a lifetime (well, two years ago) at Solvang, CA
Recipe of these easy to make Date and Nut Power Bites is here.


Bookstagram Attempts


On My Blog and Home-front

My teens are on their final week of school before the holidays, and working on studying and preparing for midterms – a mix of tests, projects, and presentations. As for me, more reading and reading for the Cybils continues! Of course, need to work on preparing for the holidays as well… and my son will be an adult by this time next week!!! Oh how time flies….

This Week’s Celebrations

For this week, here are a few I wanted to mention…

Cybils Awards Roundup Three

Cybils Nonfiction Roundup Post One

The list of books reviewed on my blog since my last roundup post. Lots more read that I am yet to review…

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, this was it for my Sunday Scribblings and the Cybils Awards Roundup Three. I would love to hear your comments on my post(s), poetic Sunday section, and anything else. And which of these days do you plan to celebrate (or any other)? Also, I do look forward to reading your poems (if you have attempted one or the other forms so far?!)

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

6 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #52: Literally Visual Treats and More to Share

  1. Concrete poetry appeals to me in so many ways. I remember it being extremely popular with my fifth graders when I taught. I feel awe when I see good concrete poetry.

    I wish I knew more about Instagram. I would like to use it more.

    You’ve done such a great job with the Cybils. I think I enjoy nonfiction more than any other category (well, except picture books…though when they are brilliant, nothing’s better, but when they are bad, they are horrid).

  2. I thought I’d recognized the poetry (which surprised me) when I realized it was Apollinaire 🙂 I’ve seen such books at the library but I’m afraid I haven’t had the opportunity or the will to read them, I hope I will. I love power bites, I make some with dried apricots, almonds and oat flakes and they disappear in a wink !

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