|Article 21 - not published|
This is the 21st Net Verse column, which means we've been going for five years. A lot's happened. For instance, sites used to have URLs like http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/works.html (still going). These days, when even second-hand car dealers have their own domain names, you're more likely to encounter an address like - a decent quality, conventional journal from New York.
More profoundly, the nature of web work is changing. Five years ago, I commented that sites had started to use colour and graphics. Today such elements, together with animation, sound and interactivity, are often integral to the piece. Call it hypertext literature, web art, new media, or what you will (the arguments continue) it's providing new opportunities and new challenges to poets.
A good example is Talan Memmott's piece "Lexia to Perplexia". This won the second trAce/Alt-X new media writing competition, and is hosted at several locations. Reach it from Talan's own site at http://www.memmott.org/talan/. You probably couldn't say it was poetry, but then you probably couldn't say it wasn't.
More of this difficult to categorise stuff can be found at Backlight. The address isand they call it visual poetry here. Some of the pieces are simple images; others use Real Video, Shockwave, and similar technologies.
There's more technology at http://homepages.which.net/~panic.brixtonpoetry/ - a site called Panic! devoted to poetry from Brixton. The frenetic opening animation leads to more conventional, though sparky, poetry.
If you can't be having with all these bells and whistles, try Richard Brodie's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam site at. This is a careful comparison of the five Fitzgerald versions. It's the sort of site that works well without containing anything you'd have been surprised to encounter five years ago. Apart from the URL, of course.
If you spot any other good scenes in this magic shadow-show, drop me a line at ...
Copyright © Peter Howard 2001-2004