concrete poetry

Abstract poem in Brave New Word’s “Blank Verse” Hemingway tribute

BNW-12

Online Experimental poetry journal Brave New Word‘s Issue 12 is a tribute to Ernest Hemingway’s experimental, pre-Dada poem “Blank Verse.” You’ve probably seen it somewhere. BNW editor Volodymyr Bilyk describes it this way:

“Blank Verse” is a five line poem that consists solely of punctuation marks divided by extensive spaces to resemble a legitimate text object. The poem consists of: 
  • a pair of quotation marks; an exclamation mark, colon, coma, dot; coma, coma, coma, dot; coma, semicolon, exclamation mark and another coma.
As you can see – it is obviously a throwaway joke. But in the same time it manages to go far beyond its original intent. 

You can read his full examination of the piece (and view Hemingway’s original) on Volodymyr’s personal blog here.

All the pieces in BNW #12 are responses in some way to Papa Hemingway’s piece. There are contributions from many artists in the international experimental poetry scene, including Mark Young, John M. Bennett, Sacha Archer, Andriy Antonovskiy, and many more. Lots of amusing remixes, re-dos, and re-visionings. Who knew one could do so much with punctuation! If you like your poetry concrete and a little silly, this issue is for you.

My own response is a concrete poem called “Grawlix Grid,” an 8×10 construction of various punctuation marks. You can view it online here.

grawlix-grid-BNW