Concrete Poetry Concrete poetry is an artistic expression of written language. Concrete poets make designs out of letters and words. Even though the visual pattern (shape) can really catch our eye, it is the language itself that makes a poem poetic.
“Concrete poetry is sometimes called picture poetry or shape poetry. It combines poetic writing and drawing. The form that the poem is written in mirrors the topic of the poem. There are three traditional ways this is down • the poem can follow the outline of the object, • the poem can fill a shape that is the subject of the poem, • the poem can use the way words are written on the page to form an image.”
If you remove the form of the poem, you weaken the poem. • In some (though not all) Concrete Poems, the form contains so much significant meaning of the poem that, if you remove the form of the poem, you destroy the poem. • The arrangement of letters and words creates an image that offers the meaning visually. • The white space of the page can be a significant part of the poem.
IN OTHER WORDS… • You create a poem about anything you would like. • The words of your poem will be created into an image that represents the idea of your poem.
Old Man Tree I met a man who was a tree. Did I see him or he see me? Standing there majestically. Tree and me…The smell of sun on autumn leaves. He said: Take good care of all you see. Praise the earth down on your knees. That’s what the old man sang to me.
Swan and Shadow By John Hollanders
Rainbow (the poem is written using the colors of the rainbow)
What will your concrete poem be about? Musical instrument? Beach? Video game? Favorite food? Ocean? Soccer ball? Lollipop? Computer? Butterfly? Dancing? Umbrella? Trees? Home? Baseball bat? Car? Favorite hobby? Flower? Pet? Favorite sport? Leaves? Justin Bieber? Friend? The choice is YOURS! Be creative and have fun!
Concrete Poetry 1. List objects with simple or distinctive shapes, like a baseball bat or an umbrella. 2. Sketch the object you’d like to write about. 3. List its characteristics and consider what it does or how it is used. 4. List things you associate with the object. (A baseball bat, for example, might make you think of a game you saw with a friend.) Look at your lists and, without thinking too hard, circle the ones you like best. 5. Write these words alongside your sketch. (For example, if you are writing a poem about a rainstorm, you might write puddles, wet feet, and downpour at an angle to imitate driving rain.) More words might come to mind. 6. Look at your concrete poem. How can you make it better? Maybe share it with a friend. Does it catch his/her eye? When writing your poem, think about the size and style of the letters, the color and shape of the letters, and the space in and around the shape. Make sure you give your concrete poem a title!
YOUR ASSIGNMENT • Create a concrete poem about whatever you would like! • Be as creative and colorful as possible! • Write your full poem on the back of the paper you are drawing your concrete poem on!