What They Speak When They Speak to Me

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Originally produced as an installation piece for large touchscreen monitors in 2007, this poem is now available as a free iOS App. The Speak app turns all the letters of the poems into a kind of letter cloud or constellation but with the letters hovering over their relative position. When you touch the screen and drag your fingertip across it, the poetic line is reconstituted from that point onwards, following the trail left by your finger’s movement, and fading back into the cloud when you lift your finger. This allows for readers to experience incomplete lines and incomplete words, depending on where you’ve touched in the sentence. Lewis engages this computational structure in his poem thematically, because it is about miscommunication across language, culture, and identity. The snippets of comprehension one gets when hearing speech in different languages are echoed in the poem’s structure.

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

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Hannelen Leirvåg