Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I've tried it with grids but I usually fail. I'm pretty visual but not with graphs and xy axes. The only exam I remember failing was maths. But here's a bit of discussion about poetry grids, from Josh Corey, Aaron McCollough and Kasey Mohammad. It's part of the discussion about poetic reception, about where we place poems and how we read them. We or I? Hmm.

There's something in this that reminds me of those psychological graphs, and variables like introversion/extraversion and Myers-Briggs tests, which I always found deeply worrying yet fascinate many people. I always scored near the middle - what does that say?

I go along with Kasey. Poems exist in time and space, which, stated like that, is the bleeding obvious. But more specifically, their effects will be different if, say, they are encountered on the page or read live or on a CD or radio/TV. And will depend on what page they are read - print v. web; magazine v. monograph v. anthology. That is, varying kinds of time and space. This can account for "measurable" effects such as lineation and meter - voice, intonation and page size, etc can change that.

It also depends on the company poems are keeping (which is probably the big discussion) and also how the reader is feeling at the time of encountering them. And that 'feeling' is made up of all kinds of states. Anyway, you get my general drift.

But I like Josh's point about it being a 'naive' tool for himself. Naive is good. (I also like Aaron's little dog and Kasey's pictograph.) I'm probably too this-but-that Libran to be able to lay it out flat like that. But if I think of a grid that's me I'll post one. Could be a long wait.

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