Code, Cod, Ode: Poetic Language & Programming

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Mutation or modulation of words manifest orthographic relations between variants but also sometimes suggest more elusive relations. Much importance can be seen in the specificity of language, especially considering the sum of variations of a single word in different languages. The word itself is a solid object at the center of such a set of permutations. The meaning of a sum of such variants can be likened to an array in programming. An array object can be greater than the sum of its parts, a concept that ties into Cubism as well as to poetry where languages mix. Other array poetry suggests geometric structure; this is poetry that creates meaning from empty space as much as from its solid textual areas. This is similar to the way that architecture creates meaning from empty spaces, as seen notably in uses of the arch. The structural strength of empty space can also be seen in a number of postmodern poems, where such space is integral to their expressiveness. These poems also use array concepts to inform the poem. It is useful to look at examples of code in my own work, which uses arrays and empty space as solid material in strings. What is of use in this method is the concept of precise poetic analysis, of the relevance of position, location, and structure as crucially important in reading code as poetic material.


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Stig Andreassen