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The intersection of poetry and art

The phrase 'visual poetry' has acquired a rather specific definition. It tends towards the abstract arrangement of letters, often lacking words or phrases. What we are examining here is poetry that is visual, but not specifically 'visual poetry.' Thus, I think of this segment as 'the intersection of poetry and art.'

So what do I mean by that? It is an open-ended description on purpose, meaning to include all forms of poetry that are designed to be seen as much as they are designed to be read. There are a few semi-distinct types of poetry that fall into this category, and I include examples of several of them here. However, this list is by no means exhaustive, and you should feel free to explore the intersection of poetry and art however you like.

Please note that any examples you see pasted below are from my own work. I didn't want to copy work from other poets so I simply included links to their work elsewhere on the web.

Shape (Concrete) Poetry


Shape or concrete poetry is poetry where the arrangements of the letters or words on the page is at least as important as the words themselves. 

The original manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, 1863


Illustrated Poetry


Illustrated poetry is fairly self-explanatory; it is poetry accompanied by a photograph or drawing. One poet famous for his visual poems is William Blake.

Frequency by Sarah Bricault


scan of plate printed by the author, William Blake, collected in Songs of Experience, designed after 1789 and printed in 1794. Copy A of the particular page held by the British Museum.


Blackout Poetry


Blackout poetry is created by taking a piece of text and "blacking out" all the words except those that appear in the final poem. It is a way of transforming one text into a completely different text! 

Word Clouds


You've probably seen word clouds on the internet before, perhaps on a social media site. Does this count as poetry? Perhaps!


Perspective Poetry


A rather specific category, perspective poetry provides two different messages depending on the angle at which you read it. Typically written across corners, this type of poem can have a powerful impact.

Visual Poetry


Visual poetry is typically more abstract than concrete poetry, and is often simply the arrangement of letters on the page. Here are a couple of examples I created.

Skyline by Sarah Bricault


Social Anxiety by Sarah Bricault

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