Defamiliarization and Reconceptualization

The following poems, previously published in Canadian Literature, use a variety of strategies to defamiliarize and reconceptualize their subject. These strategies include novel combinations of images, linguistic disruptions, and more.

While not necessarily expressing an overt visuality nor rigorously delimited conceptual framework, these poems do illustrate ways in which the formal, material focus of these experimental practices infiltrate or blend with more lyrical styles of writing. Thus, by placing these works next to the more overtly visual poems, these prompts ask you to continue to look and think carefully about the connections between perception and conceptualization, and between reading, viewing, and mentally constructing imagery and understanding.

Most importantly, continue to ask the question that informs the discussion of visual poetry:

  • How do these poems use synergies and discrepancies between form and content to explore aspects of their subject?
  • With each poem, consider what the specific strategy is and how it adds to the meaning of the poem.