Selasa, 13 Desember 2005

Poetry, the internet, and the paradox of flash


Poetry on the internet is a delicate matter. More: poems are a delicate matter. They are fragile, require faith.
And the internet doesn't seem to have the required stillness that reading a poem might demand. But it has other advantages. And Born Magazine uses them, combining flash animation with poetry and music, turning poetry reading into a truly aesthetic experience, that is, speaking to the senses.
My problem with some of the works, as with Courtney Queeney's Origami, is that it could very easily be considered kitsch. And the problem is not with the poem, nor is it actually in the flash animation. It seems to be the combination of the two, which turns a pretty poem and a pretty animation into an all-too-sweet experience. Too much sugar.

But then, not all works are like that. Many are darker, more aggressive. Some are gloomy. But in all cases it seems the flash-maker really creates the poem. This goes further than classical "interpretation" of a play. The direct impact of sight and sound appears as much more potent than the subtile work of a poem. I need to digest a poem in order for it to have impact. But by the time I finish watching the animation, the story is over, my wave of emotions (or wavelet, in case of weaker works) has long gone, and there is no turning back. In some works you can stop and decide when to read, but the graphical side seems to take over.
But then, maybe that's the trick? I wouldn't go to a poetry page anyway, and here I am trying to go back to the poem to discover it without the all-too-clever animation. Paradox? Reverse psychology?

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