On “Code is Poetry”

There has been a lot of hype around this metaphor, “Code is Poetry”. There have been many opposing claims regarding the use of this. Since there is not well defined definition of poetry, the opposition ought to be careful. Given the present definitions of poetry, one can prove almost anything to be poetic. So why not code?* It has a pattern, rhyme scheme, and repetition. Although it does not appeal to be as beautiful as other forms of poetry, it certainly demonstrates the definition of poetry to some extent. Apart from the words in the html code, the symbols like hash tags, and brackets seem to rhyme and repeat as well. The html code for poetry also seems to go in a pattern if one reads it out aloud. It is very easy to define something as poetic but not so to oppose something as not poetry. A poet with skills in html language can first easily write poems in html code. The poem on the webpage will then appear as it should normally be. So one cannot say that poetry is code and code is not poetry or vice versa. There is enough evidence to support both these sides. As a hard core poetry fan, I see everything to be poetic.

*html

Hey listen- Ruab Waraich

I sit here dreaming, thinking

O! I sit here doing nothing

And yet something

What am I wearing today

Let me see

What am I saying?

Shhhhh…

Uncle Whitman, and Eliot will be upset

So don’t ask

Just listen to what I say.

Peeps are dying out there sweetheart

I thought killing another was a sin

Is God really dead?

Or is it mankind dying out slowly?

Who knows?

So I’ll let you think about it

But for now just listen to what I say.

Hey Assad

What up with you?

You think sarin is cool

Well! Thank you for letting us know

That UN is an unstable fool

Have you any idea how many you killed?

Even if you do I don’t care

Because I don’t like you

Hey you, yes you reading this

Did you listen

This badass got the Syrians

We sit and watch helpless

Some world policemen did come out for help

But alas! Since when did realists start making honest liberal yelp.

Are you bored?

Seriously

Boy go start a war then

Come on!

Just listen to what I say

O! what am I wearing today?

Let me see

Ha!

The Art of Performance Poetry

Performance poetry has been in practice for a very long time. It’s an art that has been used to pass on cultural values from one generation to the next. It becomes a beautiful form of art when words on paper are read aloud by someone in an appropriate manner. It’s peaceful and rejuvenating to the listener. At the same time it’s important that the poet himself/herself reads the poem. If that’s not possible the speaker should understand the feelings of the poet and read them accordingly. This form of poetry can also be used to promote certain ideas such as women’s rights, nationalism, etc. For instance Canadian performance poet Jeremy Loveday’s poem “Masks off” cries out to the men in the society to take some responsibility and stop sexual assaults against women. The poet’s body language, his voice, and the music attached to the poem give his poetry an enormous appeal. He hits the bull’s eye. In other words, he knows what his readers want. Also when politicians speak out in the public, they are performing poetry. This art of performance poetry gives words a life. Interpretation of the poem also becomes easier upon understanding the musical tone of the speaker/poet.

Modern Vs Traditional

Modern poetry has largely surpassed the traditional notion of poetry as being a thing for the elite. Despite some significant differences like style and language, both forms of poetry have a value of their own. Traditional poetry is more rigid and structured whereas modern poetry is more free flowing and language friendly. From stick notes on the fridge to a mother’s grocery list, all have a poetic feeling attached to themselves. I personally admire the rebellious attitude of poets as expressed in many forms of modern poetry. It is appealing as to how poets like Sylvia Plath problematize the traditional linear notion of poetry. Such poets have tried to free poetry from old constraints and make it appear more real and original. They have used it as a mode to express themselves and the society in which they live. It is wrong to assume that poetry is extremely difficult to read and write. I make this statement to highlight the irony of the world: we poetry every day in the way we speak, walk, eat, etc. and yet we say that it’s a difficult thing made only for the smoke puffing old elites relaxing in their furnished chairs.

Ballad In A Dog’s World

The title sounds a bit weird and interesting. Do dogs poetry? Yes, they do. Whenever I hear my dog bark out in the open, I wonder why dogs nearby begin to do the same. It’s because they are singing a ballad which is highly contagious. The bark can signify danger or anything. It has a rhyme scheme and flows in a rhythmic pattern. Let’s assume that the bark is symbolic of danger at one point. Just like a ballad tells its story, a dog’s barking does the same. The main difference is the words which are absent in the dog’s world. I know this is getting weird but I do have a point. A ballad conveys a story from generations to generations and similarly a dog’s barking is symbolic of certain things which have been conveying a similar story for generations (I am not sure what kind of story that is). The barking also sounds repetitive as if trying to get the rhythm more exciting. When the dog stops for breath at certain points, it seems like he is making use of periods, commas, and other forms of punctuation. The dogs also use a specific type of body language when they bark. This can be juxtaposed with the body language of the narrator of any ballad. Believe it or not! Dogs do poetry!

Atom Is Poetry

Atom is the basic unit of matter. It consists of electrons, protons, neutrons, and a nucleus. Surprisingly, it fits perfectly into my description of a poem. It has a rhyme scheme which is abcabc. For example, it consists of positive charge, negative charge, and neutral charge. It also has a very well defined pattern. The form is the nucleus and the content is the electrons, neutrons, and protons. It’s like a sonnet that follows a very strict format. But just like some poets like E.E. Cummings broke the rules of the sonnet so did some atoms while bonding with other atoms and forming new ones. Atom in itself is an abstract concept that has been converted into concrete form. Scientists have assigned words and meaning to this tiny particle which is invisible to the naked eye. It also makes a constant rhythmic movement when trying to bond with other atoms. In other words, atom is a sonnet. By writing all this, I have tried to make an atom as concrete as possible. If the basic unit of matter can be poetry, then I’m sure everything around us is a form of poetry in some way or other. Can we say the term poetry is not defined precisely? Who knows?

Video Games As Epic Poetry

Video games can be defined as a form of epic poetry whose plot is written by the player. Let’s take the example of “Tomb Raider”. The beginning gives us a catalogue of the weapons that the player will use. There is only one hero which is the player. The rest of the characters are the enemies. The hero goes on a long quest and his/her success is determined by the number of levels he/she completes. There is repetition in the sounds made by all the characters. The characters are intertextualised in each level. For example, in terms of their clothes, weapons etc. The player plays the role of both the narrator and the narratee which makes the form really interesting. The story begins to form as the player moves from one level to the next. The bad guys are supposed to die in the end and the good guy who is the player in this case gets to win. Therefore, the quest is complete. The ending may take a tragic form if the player fails to complete all the levels. The player unknowingly creates an epic which if given words will look more or less like an epic poem. What an epic that is!