Visualizing Poetry with ‘Poemage’ and ‘Transpoemation’: Vice or Virtue?

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Advanced Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Visualizing Poetry with ‘Poemage’ and ‘Transpoemation’: Vice or Virtue?

Dr. Mounir Al-Jilani Ben Zid



Traditional literary critics tend to value what they call ‘close reading’, the process of carefully reading a poem or other literary work word-by-word and line-by-line in order to analyze how different features of the text work together to create meaning. Through close reading, literary critics hope the reader might eventually succeed in uncovering hidden connotations. Traditional literary analysis, therefore, is mostly done without the use of a computer because in order to properly understand a text, according to conventional critics, not only the words that are used are important but also the context they are used in. Contrary to this traditional view of literary analysis, the paper puts forward suggestions to go beyond traditional criticism and advances the claim that multiple readings are necessary to understand the structure of a literary work, unearth disregarded information, new knowledge and multiple meanings, especially in the case of poetry. Our idea presented in this paper is to show that an appropriate combination of automatic/computer-assisted analytical methods and a detailed visualization of the poem through digital tools, poemage and transpoemation are likely to yield interesting new insights in literature analysis. This discussion will be substantiated with an application of these two visualization methods to William Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality.”

keywords: Literary criticism; close reading; visualization; poemage, transpoemation.