Fallow Field

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2004
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This narrative hypertext work about the final season of an unfruitful marriage is divided into two parts, six sections, and 30 lexia to deliver the equivalent of a short story into a structure associated with poetry. The numbering of the lexias, as well as the primary interface offered to read them (depicted in the image above) which presents them sequentially numbered on a single scrolling column draws attention to each group of sentences, creating emphasis where needed. The language itself is pure prose poetry, with alliterations underscoring important moments in the poem, such as the title, taken from the emotionally and verbally resonant last sentence in the poem.

As a hypertext, this work was designed to favor linearity, though the links at the bottom of the page would allow people to explore non-linear ways of reading, with the added benefit of hearing Grigar read her work. The links in the text itself allow readers to pull up images and sounds from the setting creating a more visually and aurally engaging piece. In both cases the use of hypertext emphasizes the way the text has been divided into sections and sequenced to produce accreting layers of story and voice, during these final stages of her narrative plight. Think about how this work would read if organized into paragraphs. Would it have the same impact?

This sensuous, sad narrative poem carries such a strong female voice than we cannot help but identify with her parallel frustration as a farmer and a woman.

(Source: Leonardo Flores, I ♥ E-Poetry)

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Hannelen Leirvåg