18 March 2011

technopoetics

The merging of technology and poetry is, in many ways, a hybrid flower. Poets have blogs. Poets have blogs about poetry, and about other poets. Literary magazines have web-based versions, or are exclusively web-based, or offer supplementary web-based materials. Literary journals have blogs. Poets have blogs about the blogs of literary journals and why they love them. Why they hate them. Why every poet should have a blog. Why no poets should have blogs. Why the internet has saved poetry. Why the internet has destroyed poetry. Why technology has birthed new forms. Why technology has bastardized all forms.

Poets give interviews to websites. They are printed interviews. They are recorded interviews. They are podcasts. They are audio podcasts. They are video podcasts. Poets become podcasts. They become pages on Facebook, links on websites, names before “.html” files, websites themselves, images, audio tracks, video representations, iPod applications, JAVA platforms, Google searches, RSS feeds, and subscribed content. Poets are reviewed. Reviews become poetry.

Poetry lovers can download poems for their iPods, on their telephones, directly to their computers, send them via email, share them in chat rooms, post them as their Facebook statuses, receive them via email, receive them via text message, listen to them on satellite radio, read them in the side bars of their favorite websites. They can respond directly to the poems they read. They can leave comments in comment boxes below poems. They can add line edits to poems in message boards. They can workshop poems via Twitter tweets and video conferences, chat rooms and internet forums, email and Bluetooth and Blackberry. They can email their favorite poets and say they love the poets’ works or email their least favorite poets and tell them exactly why they hate those poets’ poems. They can engage in poetry workshops and seminars in their bathrooms and their beds.

The internet takes the landscape of poetry and spreads it out, spreads it wide, perhaps spreads it thin, takes the local and makes it national, international, global, worldwide, universal. It takes the thoughts and ideas and ideals of poets and makes them accessible to anyone and everyone. They become part of the framework of technopoetics: technological poetics, poetry and poets linked and logged in to the web.

I have a blog. I write and ramble about poetry. I invite other people to write and ramble about poetry. I post links to the works of others. I insert my own work. I share my ideas of poetry with the world. I give people ideas about poetry. I share exercises; I hear from people who have done my exercises and think they are brilliant, and from people who have not done my exercises and think they are ridiculous. I write for websites that publish my poetry for free, free for me, and free for them. Will the world take me less seriously?

Should poets have blogs? Should literary magazines have websites where they publish the content people paid for at later dates for free? Should literary magazines have blogs? Should poets post their poems to their websites, or the websites of their friends, or the websites of strangers? Should I list as a publication every poem I’ve ever copied and pasted into the comment box of a blog? Does it matter if the website is run by a novice or a professional or Writer’s Digest? Is technology and poetry together, technopoetics, a good thing?

Maybe.

Maybe the internet is simply the next branch of the poetry tree. Maybe it’s the thing cutting branches off the poetry tree. Maybe it’s birth. Maybe it’s bastardization. Maybe it’s both.

Maybe in twenty years the bios of poets will read “She has been published on nearly thirty blogs, and has left over one hundred poems in the comment boxes of various websites that you can find if you Google really, really hard.”

Maybe in twenty years people will read that as a joke.

Maybe in twenty years people will read that as an accomplishment.

Maybe in twenty years technopoetics will be a real word.

Maybe in twenty years technopoetics will be the last thing that matters.

Maybe in twenty years technopoetics will be the only thing that matters. 

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