Follies in Project Design

Project Completion

Dec 15, 2021

After 4 months, after countless hours of pouring over poetry, scribbling in Photoshop at the dead of night, reflecting on reflecting, my project is complete. I feel immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to demonstrate my skill and hone my craft these 4 (well, 4 and a half) years, and I believe that this project is the culmination of all that I have learned. Looking back over everything I’ve done over the semester, the poetry and accompanying artwork, I can see that I’ve used this project as a vehicle for my own emotional expression, venting the negativity within me to create a dark and brooding atmosphere on each page. For some time I was quiet… embarrassed by this trajectory I had put myself upon; it felt show-y and over sentimental, but I’m very glad that I allowed myself to express unhindered.

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Discoveries from Networking

Dec 07, 2021

While word-counts and N-gram/concordance plots are interesting in their own right, the crown-jewel of text analysis is, in my opinion, networks (NTA). They’re extremely useful in visually representing for an audience the intricate, interwoven nature of a piece of text, demonstrating how two or more aspects of a text (characters, settings, themes, word choice, etc.) are related to one another. They can be stunningly beautiful, while also providing a great resource for better understanding a work! When constructing the network for my poetry, I came across multiple, interesting insights into my body of work that I had not previously even considered, similar to my other escapades into analysis. I had no idea that my poems were so interconnected in the way that they are, that you can draw a path from one poem to another through shared themes so easily. Take, for example, the two poems Virga and Clockface. I wouldn’t expect any relationship between these poems on the surface, but with the network, you can reveal that they share not one but two topics: Fear and Imagery. Something true of both, yet they are so different in their core…

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Poetic Composition

Nov 22, 2021

Something that my professor and I have been pondering of late is the proverbial “home” and nature of the work within this project; In what format or medium, exactly, does the poetry “live?” Where is it most true to my intentions for it, where is it most honest? I’m not sure I really have an answer, but to begin to delve deeper into the topic, we can start where I do: conception. Every poem in this project began as an idea stashed away in a note on my phone, always available to me whenever inspiration strikes. As I think on it more, I begin building the bones of my poem in my head, sounding out the initial word choices and tempo/rhythm. After this, I sit down to “officially” write my poem in a notebook I keep on my desk, safe at home, each line and stanza carefully handwritten.

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Reflections on Other Works

Nov 12, 2021

My advising professor recommended to me a few works to reflect on as my project nears its end. William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, for some of its similarity to my own work, and J. R. R. Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle, for its commentary on the artistic process. William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience is all about duality, that much is obvious. More specifically, I feel as though this collection is contrasting the variance in humanity, life, and virtue. There is a surprising amount of variety in topic across all of the poems, but they're connected with this through line of contrast. I think the pair, Infant Joy (Songs of Innocence) and Infant Sorrow (Songs of Experience) are perfect examples. They're short poems that both tell the story of a child's birth. You have the Joy poem centered around the bliss of creating new life, from the dual-perspectives of child and mother, joined in their happiness. Then Sorrow, where only the child's view is expressed, and the tone of the poem is sullen. The baby unwanted by its parents, by the end it has nothing left to do other than sulk.

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