Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hypertext Poetry

Hypertext Poetry is poetry that has had hyperlinks embedded into it by the reader. I have the scholars select a poem and then they add hyperlinks to the poem to help explain their interpretation of the poem. The hyperlinks can link to pictures, words, other poems, any allusion the line or group of words in the poem brings to the reader's mind. That is how I define it and use it. My earlier Hypertext Haiku may be an example and Concrete Poetry too. Wikipedia has its page, too.

Another example would be Hypertext Eliot. A student from Amherst College used TS Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" for his Hypertext Poem. He selected certain lines and phrases to make hypertext links to outside sites that helped him interpret the poem. Unfortunately at this time many of the liniks are dead. But a quick visit, nonetheless, will be worth it to get an idea of how this can be done.

Peter Howard presents his version of the Hypertext Poem or Web Art. This is a great collection of Hypertext Poetry or Web Art or Concrete Poetry as he calls the selections on his website. He has more at his "Low Probability of Racoons" site.

One example of Hypertext Poetry from Howard's site may resemble the Concrete poem. The poem below is one of the "zipper" poems in the collection. Click the image.

Another offering from Howard's site is David Knoebel's Click Poetry: Words in Space. He is concerned with words and how they are everywhere and somehow connected. He uses Java to achieve his effect and the reader interacts as per instructions for each poem.

Mary Hedger has a very entertaining interpretation of Hypertext Poetry. It is a pictorial represntation with links to poetry from a child like drawing of a road sign.

A repository of Hypertext Poetry can be found at The Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY Buffalo.

For scholarly work of Hypertext Poetry, Kairos has provided some very good work on the topic for teachers to discover the pedagogical aspects and advantages of Hypertext Poetry.

Robert Kendell has written a treatise for Kairos on the topic of Hypertext Poetry titled, "Minding the Frontier: Teaching Hypertext Poetry and Fiction Online."

The Fall 1999 issue of Kairos is devoted to Hypertext Poetry and other writings.


AniSa said...

I came across this entry while conducting my own research on hypertext poetry. I have to say: thank you! I'm student working on a blog just on Digital Poetry (I had the idea since most students in my poetry class had no idea about the large world of e-poetry, so I'm writing from a beginner's POV). I was in a bit of rut with so much information, but after reading a bit through your blog and this entry I found a different focus to work on.
If you have a chance do you recommend any other sites on digital poetry?
Thank you & really cool blog :)

Ted Nellen said...

Thank you, AniSa, for the kind comments. You will find some more on digital poetry here: