This was a very visual and rapid poem. It was very hard to keep track about the main theme and ideas since you had to give it your full attention to it or else you are going to miss everything. The poem moves at a very rapid pace and flashes bits of texts every second while blazing jazz music is playing in the background. There is no way to slow it down and no way to pause it, if you missed something you have to start all over.
From what I gathered it has to deal with death mostly, different approaches to it and some ways to live and enjoy life itself. It also briefly mentions a fight over a woman and defiance to God itself.
The works made by bpNichol, Geof Huth and others really represent this idea of concrete poetry or as it is also refereed to as visual poetry. I think this idea of visual poetry helps expand the knowledge and usage of what computers are capable of and it goes back to the poetry work of “Strings” where the author uses a set of words and animates them in a virtual space to give it meaning aside from the significance of the word itself, maybe adding to the word’s meaning or literally showing, within this virtual space, what the word represents. Examples of this are seen in all of these recent poetry, from Huth’s representation of rain(by showing the word rain falling to the lower part of the screen, looking like rain drops), to bpNichol’s sun and the field.
I really enjoyed bpNichol’s poem, since it uses very normal and everyday things, but gives them a weird and twisted feeling to them. I liked the Construction poem a lo, since it represents the need for humans to create things on a grand scale, and it is represented with the tower slowly building itself until the highest point, when it can’t reach any higher on the screen it reverts to being Babel, which was the story in the Bible in which a group of people set out to construct the tallest building in the world so they could reach God himself. I also liked poem for my father, since it represented an eerie feeling with regards to how the rain, the train and the ghost was represented,maybe suggesting his father really loved trains and his ghost will always continue to pursue trains even in the afterlife? I don’t know but it is a nice visual image where you think the train and ghost might collide with one another but they just pass through each other leaving the word ghosttrain lying on the bottom of the screen.
I find really interesting how he incorporates text in a virtual space and plays around with the 3d environment to breed new life to his texts. It reminded me of Dan Waber’s works, especially with “Strings” since they share similar ideas and thought process.
I liked “A Fine View” because it was a normal short poem about Bill and some roofers. The way it hovers over you it seems like what they did with “Tropes” in the Second Life game using a sort of POV of the text and bringing it to life. The music also sets a dark mood to the text and gives it more life. You can also interpret it as the cigarette being flicked towards the floor as the text scrolls before the cigs untimely demise. The use of the 3d space as well as the use of music create more meanings that could have been thought of before if the text was on a while web page with a simple design and coding.
I opted to see the machinima regarding tropes in Second Life to see the translation from a virtual world and a game to a video medium. The idea behind the trope island in Second Life is a very intriguing one and it makes great use of the medium to tell interesting writings in very peculiar ways. They use interactive books, dominoes, floating texts to show their complex texts in different fashions, and it works. I have seen this use of writting literature in a virtual space or a game and that is with Little Big Planet.
Little Big Planet allows the player to create a world where you can do anything, play any genre and so on, but people have evolved from it to create complex things like computers, calculators, machines that write text, machines that create music and so on. I think this type of freedom allows the user to feel they can truly do anything, and by Second Life allowing this it shows Second Life is really like our first life.
I guess in the end I go back to hating point and click games. I tried to give it a chance and while the ideas behind the game seem interesting enough(the story, the whole thing with the Ages and the journals) the puzzles really frustrate and irritate me to a point that I had to look around for a guide on how to beat certain sections. The musical puzzle was so horrible and it doesn’t help the fact that I am tone deaf, or even before getting there with the 59 volts.
I guess I prefer an adventure game with puzzle elements than this type of game. Examples like God of War, Uncharted, even the Legend of Zelda use puzzle elements but add other things into the gameplay. Myst does work on a story level with it’s very intriguing and mysterious protagonist and ideas.
The puzzles were confusing and they are difficult to get into and analyze..for example I had to go back to the 59 volts because I totally forgot what number was the one needed to activate the thing. From that point on I just wrote down whatever seemed important so I wouldn’t be completely lost. In the end the game is sort of interesting with regards to the puzzles and works on a story level. If it was more of an adventure type of game..maybe it would be more my cup of tea, but as it stands I don’t like it and I don’t think ill me revisiting the world of Myst anytime soon.
Exploring a brand new world…
Dan Waber’s two string texts are very intriguing. Somehow I couldn’t see his second String attempt, so I will focus on the first one. The utility of flash is a very intriguing and breath of fresh air approach. Using simple words and weird moving text, it creates the essence of the word he is trying to describe.I really enjoyed the arguments and the flirting ones since they really do encompass those yes/no/maybe answers we get and how they actually differ depending on the context. The way the text moves gives it life and you could even guess what it means just by looking at it.
The question was posted in the Google Doc.
After I started reading the second one I found a pattern arising. Some of the verbs or words started to repeat themselves, including the main theme(for me) which is Sunday. From what I understood from these sestinas, which wasn’t a whole lot, was the sadness and frustrations that arise from Sunday, but that Monday to Saturday don’t fare any better either. The pass on by quickly and we all return to the “Blue Sunday” as one of my sestinas suggest. I see that the variations are slight, only one word or two change, leaving almost the whole line intact, but that small change does bring new ideas on the table. In my sestinas as well there is also a hint of a forgotten love, which wishes to reunite with that lost love to be looking forward to this Blue Sunday the sestina mentions. It seems like these both are connected and don’t differ that much.
"Palavrador" was created by a Portuguese man. It is a simple video that depicts a cube that shifts his head showing different sides of the box, with wings that read eros and caos. It is constantly flying around portuguese words and phrases, while a man is explaining the whole video and what everything means. It seems more like an acid poetry dream than anything else, and it is rather unique, but I would have liked to be actually able to explore these weird surreal world.
"All Roads" is a very weird test based game, which seems to be running on a timer and if you repeat certain actions such as run, look, etc there will actually be different outcomes. It is very surreal and unusual as well, but I didn’t really enjoy it that much.
Technically I didn’t analyze that many poems, but I did look at a few generated ones. I read about the algorithms used for this poem by reading a bit about OULIPO, which helps me understand the poem a bit more. They created an algorithm which to some extent makes the poem understandable and analyzable. The picture that was in the assignment perfectly represents what this whole website is about, it mix and mashes different lines to create a unique poem, like those mix and mash dolls where you put different heads on different torsos and legs to create a new person, this webpage creates new poetry with each click of the “New Poem” button.
It also makes you think that once you click the button, you may never see the poem you previously saw anymore, making one appreciate the poem even further. I enjoyed the poems (the few I read) because of the level of understanding it had, and how it actually was coherent and made sense.