In a digital world, many people wonder if books will be replaced by pixilated text. While a digitized form may not be the best manner to present a full-length book, shorter pieces of work may benefit from the combination of text, audio, and video. Digital poetry, Internet poetry, or “poetry off the page” is a new realm of creative writing we must explore in this technological era. My essay took the form of an iMovie, which wove together examples of digital poetry, emphasizing how the internet could transform something from just text to something more.
The original idea for my essay was sparked by a youtube video of Otep preforming “Baby’s Breath.” In the comments section, there were varying opinions concerning whether or not the video was poetry. I initially wanted to make the argument that more things are poetry than we realize, and that poetry isn’t necessarily constructed in ABAB rhyme. Music, writing, video: all of these things can be poetry in their own way; however, the question of “what is poetry” seemed too expansive to cover in a single essay. For that reason, I narrowed my focus to “what is digital poetry.”
Working with iMovie proved to be a struggle. Often times the program would crash (in fact, it gave me great difficultly this morning when I tried to export my video), freeze, or simply be unresponsive. In addition, I had never worked with iMovie before, only having the class tutorial to guide my work. Regardless, I managed to compile a series of poetic examples into an eleven-minute movie, letting the words, audio, and video speak for itself. On my second draft, it seemed that more text and explanation was required, and I tweaked my movie, replacing examples, finding new audio, and, most importantly, adding text. The result is uploaded on youtube.
Obviously, working with iMovie gave me several advantages to working with a text. The inherent nature of digital poetry would not be conducive to a standard essay form: I could describe the interactive nature of some of the poems, but you would not be able to see me interacting with them. You would not be able to hear poets speaking or watch performances of poems. Therefore, the major affordance of working with a digital form of writing was to go beyond merely describing my examples–to actually show the readers a digital poem.