09 October 2006

Poetry and Technology

I don't usually connect my work life and my reading/blogging life. In fact, few people I know professionally know that I blog -- and I want to keep it that way! But, I do tend to gravitate towards readers and I will miss the readers with whom I had interesting lunchtime discussions at my last job. Sometimes, I have people comment that they think that technology (my work life) seems so different than my reading and writing interests. I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive, but I'm frequently frustrated with my inability to adequately explain how they are complementary.

Here are two different postings I came across recently that deal with the intersection of poetry and technology:

First, Frank Wilson at Books, Inc. linked to this article about the Poetry at Tech program at Georgia Tech. Those engineers realize that there is more to poetry than their rhyming fight song: "I'm a rambling wreck from Georgia Tech...".

In the article, Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough is quoted:

"The pursuit of science and technology is just as creative a process as poetry and the arts," Clough says. "Both require intensely creative people who can think outside the box, look at the same things everyone else sees and imagine something more, and put the pieces together in new ways."

The Director of the Poetry at Tech program, poet Thomas Lux is quoted:
"Poems are made things. They have everything to do with intense emotions ... but poems are made things. They don't just happen."

Follow the link to read the article. Lux makes some interesting comments regarding hip-hop and poetry slams. Registration is required, but it's free.

At Robert Peake's blog, Peake makes a comparison between programming and poetry:
What poems and code have in common is compactness...Both require precision, and poetry usually also involves some degree of linguistic compactness....Subtlety, clarity, and intimacy with the language are all required traits that get amplified through the power of each discipline.

Be sure to check out the comments on Robert's post as well. I'm not sure that I agree with his correlation of poets and programming language, but, while I am a technologist, I'm not a programmer. I'll be checking his blog for future posts for more data.

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