Concrete canticles
in Reading poetry
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This chapter is about poems in which aspects of their overall shape are in some way representational or pictorial. One of the earliest practitioners of this kind of poetry in English was George Herbert, whose book The Temple contains well known examples such as 'The Altar' and 'Easter Wings'. The chapter suggests three basic categories of poems: the verbal/visual type; the visual/verbal kind; and the visual/verbalist kind. It considers three examples of each of these three types. The examples of the verbal/visual type include George Herbert, Guillaume Apollinaire and Edwin Morgan. The examples of the visual/verbal kind include Bob Cobbing, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Ana Maria Uribe. The examples of the visual/verbalist kind include Mary Ellen Solt, David Miller and Alvaro de Sa.


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