What Is Concrete Poetry?
“While many readers now associate the term “concrete poetry” with poems whose outlines depict a recognizable shape—John Hollander’s collection Types of Shape, for example—the ideas behind concrete poetry are much broader. In essence, works of concrete poetry are as much pieces of visual art made with words as they are poems. Were one to hear a piece of concrete poetry read aloud, a substantial amount of its effect would be lost. (from The Academy of American Poets at Poets.org)
Click the link to see John Hollander’s concrete poem “A Watched Pot.”
Explore this Pinterest page to see more examples:
How to Get Started:
1) Brainstorm Key Words
Make a list of words you know you want to use. Since our topic is “Greatness,” the following Wordles might help you identify important words from the texts we studied:
- “Are You a Loser?” by Scholastic Scope
- “What It Takes to Be Great” by Geoffrey Colvin
- “Amigo Brothers” by Piri Thomas (periods 5 and 6)
- “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” by Rod Serling (periods 3 and 4)
2) Pick a Shape
Decide on a shape that symbolizes greatness to you. For example, students in past years have used the following shapes:
- sports equipment: barbell, basketball, football, baseball and bat
3) Craft your poem. You can use the words to make sentences and phrases. Some poets even tell a story with the words.