The Pines at Walden Pond

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This lyric hypertext poem is based on a speaker’s thoughts and observations centered upon the pines at Walden Pond, a space celebrated in American literature thanks to Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden, his experiment in self-reliance and Transcendental song.

Larsen’s hypertext is mapped upon an image of a pine branch, in which several nodes are connected by spindly linear trails. Each trail of links can be interpreted as a line of thought, starting with four nodes that focus on the pines, the speaker’s perception of them, Thoreau, and the speaker herself. Following the link trails lead to nodes that hold together well, though there are both physical and conceptual branchings. Clicking on links as they appear within each text also creates thematic associations. Both ways navigating this poem lead to a powerfully associative coherence in a piece that engages the beauty of the place while questioning some of Thoreau’s politics.

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

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Scott Rettberg