-EDIT: despite being more of an artist than a writer, this concrete poem has generated a LOT of traffic towards my blog. I suppose people searching for concrete poems seem to enjoy mine very much and it has now been floating around the top of the google searches for “concrete poem.” Never have I ever been more sad that I did not credit my own name at the bottom of the poem. For those of you who are reading this but do not frequent my blog, Hello! My name is Jason Lin and I am the author of this concrete poem. Feel free to read my About Me page or see other projects I have done. If you are looking for more concrete poems, I am sorry to disappoint, but this is my only one.-
This is a poem I had to write for my AP english class. The assignment was to create a concrete poem where the actual shape of the poem also contributes to the poem’s meaning. So, naturally, I wanted to decide my picture first and then write/shape the poem afterwards. I ended up wanting to use an animal for certain. I wanted a challenge, or something really complex. I decided to choose animals that were naturally black and white because then I could shape the animal fully instead of dividing their colors into two separate black and whites. My first thought was. Zebra. A zebra sounded really cool. The only problem was the size of the stripes. When I looked up “zebra type,” someone had already created a zebra typography thing on the internet. I thought it was really amazing and I figured I could pull of something similar.
The stripes narrowed down too much. Unlike any other typography portrait or picture, all of my words had to be legible. So I had to choose a different animal. I needed something with larger black and white areas. My next idea. Panda. The panda was fairly simple. I didn’t really bother using microsoft word to try and add in all of the spaces and try to get everything to fit. I ended up using an image editting software so I could just trace over an image of a panda and figure out where all of my boundaries are. I thought this was a really fun assigment because I actually got to try some typography stuff. My poem ended up being about “black and white” or the fact that people are always so far on the sides of the extremes. I always feel pressured to pick one side in life when it comes to things. I can’t ever be stuck in between. or a “fence-sitter.” The truth is, I often like parts of both sides so I can’t just pick one side. I have. follow the “middle path.” (haha. English class joke.)