john clare poetry

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This is not meant as a complete guide to concrete poetry, but merely a short introduction. This was originally collected after teaching the subject briefly at the Arab University of Cairo.
Basically, concrete poetry is poem as picture or solid construction. Poets of the past have played with the idea of making poems in the shape of something. A poem about a butterfly is set out on the page in the shape of a butterfly.
One of the most interesting developments of this type of writing was the publication during the first world war of a book of visual poems by Guillaume Apollinaire called Calligrammes. Here is one of the poems from that collection:

Calligrammes by

Perhaps his most famous poem from Calligrammes was the poem about rain, which he wrote in the form of rain falling to the ground:

Il Pleut, Apollinaire

You will find that I have taken this one stage further and written a similar work as an animation.

Concrete poetry became all the rage during the 1960s. One of the more interesting poets using the style was Ian Hamilton Finlay, who went on to create his poems as objects which he placed in his garden in Scotland.
Here are a couple of my early concrete poems dating from 1971:

Fish/Foil, John Clare