In recent weeks I've been exploring various aspects of the relationship between poetry and the visual arts - first, with the series of poems on Brueghel's 'Hunters in the Snow', and then with e. e. cummings' typographical experiments in 'Poem 42'. 'Landscape' is another take on the same theme - here, though, the words do not describe a picture (as in the Brueghel poems), nor is their arrangement a way of enhancing their effect (as in the cummings). Rather, the words themselves _are_ the picture; their visual impact is at least as important as the meanings they convey. thomas. [Links] Four poems based on Brueghel's painting 'Hunters in the Snow': poem #483, Poem #484, Poem #485, and Poem #486. Auden's 'Musee des Beaux Arts' is another poem based on a Brueghel; this time, his 'Fall of Icarus': poem #68 e. e. cummings is probably the most famous exponent of 'visual' poetry; the poem mentioned above, Poem 42, is archived at poem #493 Geoffrey Hill's 'A Prayer to the Sun' is another example of (semi-)visual poetry; you can read it (along with an essay on the nature of poetry itself), at poem #349. Nohow and contrariwise, it should also be remembered that the origins of poetry are fundamentally oral/aural; check out 'The Seafarer': poem #326 'Gnomic Stanzas': poem #333 and of course any number of song lyrics on the Minstrels website. We've run one bpNichol poem before, the wonderfully titled 'Dear Captain Poetry', which you can read at poem #189 There's a decent bpNichol homepage at http://www.thing.net/%7Egrist/l%26d/bpnichol/bp.htm [More on Nichol] "... Nichol's Translating Translating Apollinaire went back to a point of origin, and was intended as a life-long project. The basic proposition of the work was to subject a single poem to every possible transformational process. Quite naturally, he chose his first published poem, 'Translating Apollinaire', as the base for the work. Much of the series works out visual strategies specific to a typewriter's unit spacing in a number of ways. As visual poetry, the most interesting are those described in terms of three dimensional space. The fifth of the 'Ten Views' sequence, for instance, charts the poem in terms of "walking west along the southern boundary looking north", while the last is a labyrinthine view beginning on the exterior and walking in. The series also includes visual poems composed by other people and some done by Nichol in the style of others... ... perhaps Nichol's most extreme ephemeral poem, and extreme poem period, was the short booklet Cold Mountain. This booklet contained instructions for folding the book and burning it. In this case the real visual poem was something you could only see for a few minutes: the book burning in front of you. Paradoxically, perhaps, I doubt that many recipients actually burned their copies, and beyond that, a large part of the edition was destroyed by accident... ... Nichol could tinker with just about anything in terms of visual poetry. He rang numerous variations on Basho's most famous haiku ("old pond/frog jumps in/water sound") - again, note that this is a form of returning to square one, the basic poem of a genre. His last variation, apparently never published, was simply a capital letter Q - the circle is the pond, and the tail is the frog's diving board. As far as I know, the last Basho poem he prepared for print (in Art Facts) was a poem found in a newspaper: 'Frog Pond turns into gold mine'..." -- Karl Young, an essay bpNichol's visual poetry Complete article at http://www.thing.net/%7Egrist/l%26d/bpnichol/ky-e-bp.htm A generous extract from 'Translating Translating Apollinaire' can be found at http://www.thing.net/%7Egrist/l%26d/bpnichol/lnichol1.htm The Basho haiku mentioned above has featured on the Minstrels; you can read it at poem #23 [Moreover] If you're interested in concepts such as translation, transliteration and transformation, if you like reflecting on the music of language and the mystery of meaning, or if you just want to indulge yourself in a wild intellectual ride, well, I can't do better than to recommend Douglas Hofstadter's new book, 'Le ton beau de Marot'. Read it!