The Future of Poetry

Throughout this course we have examined a variety of different digital poems. Some works, like Osman’s The Network, take the database concept and apply it to poetry. Other works, like The Dreamlife of Letters and Between Print and Screen use digital technology as a means to create a new and unique user experience that cannot be replicated through the traditional print medium. One thing is for sure, my traditional definition of poetry no longer holds true. The digital age has pushed the boundaries of poetry.  Reading poems that lack human authors and poems that are created without intention forced me to rethink what purpose poetry serves. These works echo the words of Bernstein in The Art of Immemorability:

“Poetry in a digital age can do more than simply echo the past with memorable phrases. It can also invent the present in language never before heard.”

Based on the works that we have examined, I believe that poets will continue to explore new ways of utilizing new technologies in their work. I do not think that traditional poetry will disappear; however, the proliferation and advancement of the internet will make it a much more appealing medium to work with. The number of solely digital pieces will increase and the line between digital poetry and digital art will continue to blur.

Out of the different styles of digital poetry we have examined I think automated pieces will become much more common. The poems that RACTER was able to produce were very complex. It wrote The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed in 1984. Imagine what can be created with today’s technology. Ironically, the creators of these new automated works will be programmers… not poets.

3 comments

  1. Chelsea Mitchell

    Interesting, what the Internet has done for the lure of authorship. I think you’re right that it may have made poetry a more appealing medium… but also a less-defined medium. Since poetry is so free form now, it is likely very appealing to some.

  2. Brandon Reed

    I like what you have written but i do disagree with one thing. I believe traditional writing will eventually be wiped out. Especially when you have computers to do almost everything! their is no way the future generations are going to be reading hardback copies. everything will be digital

  3. Harrison Saylor

    I’m not sure automated pieces will become much more common. If automated pieces were going to be commonplace I would’ve expected many more by now. However, I think you summed up a main theme of the class when you said “The number of solely digital pieces will increase and the line between digital poetry and digital art will continue to blur”

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