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…
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 d o w n 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!
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
Also look at below links for more inspiration and information:
- What Is Concrete Poetry? (Getty.edu)
- Poems to Make, Watch, and Hear (BBC)
- 42 Clever Calligrams That Visualize the Meanings Of Various Words (Digital Synposis)
So don’t the above really look like literally visual treats? Or Visually literal ones? What do you think?
My attempt (while I am in awe of Brian Bilston’s Needles shape poem here)
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
- A Wonderful Medley of Festive Nonfiction Reads
- 3 Amazing Picture Books About Stories from History
- 5 Wonderful & Inspiring Nonfiction Girl Power Books
- Nonfiction Week 3: On the Way to Becoming the Expert
- Ever Grateful for Inspiring Non-fiction Picture Books
- 4 Wonderful Books That Show Age Doesn’t Matter
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Mommy Review
- Sunday Scribblings #51: Cybils Awards Roundup Two and More
As Promised – More Literally Visual Treats
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…
- International Migrants Day is on 18 December; the 10th was Human Rights Day, and in fact, December is celebrated as Universal Human Rights Month – should be everyday, isn’t it?
- I love my sweet treats, and this week has a few in store starting with National Cupcake Day on the 15th, followed by National Chocolate Covered Anything Day on the 16th of December, and ending with National Hard Candy Day as well as National Oatmeal Muffin Day on the 19th!
- Then there are other ones I want to make a note of, including Monkey Day on the 14th; the Bill of Rights Day on the 15th; and Wright Brothers Day on the 17th.
- And of course, a birthday to celebrate at home….on the 19th!
Cybils Awards Roundup Three
The list of books reviewed on my blog since my last roundup post. Lots more read that I am yet to review…
- The Teachers March!
- A Ride to Remember
- The Voice of Liberty
- Mamie on the Mound
- Beatrix Potter, Scientist
- I Am a Promise
- A Voice Named Aretha
- Yusra Swims
- We Had to Be Brave
- Flowers in the Gutter
- Surviving the Angel of Death
- Kiyo Sato
- Games of Deception
- On the Horizon
- Nature Did it First: Engineering Through Biomimicry
- Packs: Strength in Numbers
- A New Green Day
- Who Will It Be: How Evolution Connects Us All
- Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Cyclones, Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters
- Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon
- She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch
- WildLives: 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History
- Numenia and the Hurricane: Inspired by a True Migration Story
- The Very Oldest Pear Tree
- The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
- Clarence’s Big Secret
- No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History
- Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It
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?!)