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bow hows decrypted - beto riginale's Blog

About beto riginale
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Ciao a tutti!
Welcome to my work and blog. Here are a few words about me.
        I was born and raised near Berkeley, California, and was introduced to the beatniks in North Beach by a high school friend in the late '50s. That is an event that influenced the rest of my life.
        I studied mathematics, philosophy, and German at university. By a quirk of fate, I became a computer scientist and website designer for most of my professional life. Since retirement, I have written poetry, essays, and translated German -> English and Spanish -> English. I write only free verse, haiku, and (some) prose poetry.

My favorite poets (in no particular order) :

Allen Ginsberg
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Gertrude Stein
E. E. Cummings
William Carlos Williams
T. S. Eliot
Jack Kerouac
Alejandra Pizarnik
Charles Bukowski

Thank you for stopping by to read my work and blog.

bow hows decrypted

Blog Posted:12/10/2019 4:41:00 PM
I write this to help those who have difficulty reading this experimental form. 
The fact that the printed form is somewhat anthropomorphic is chance and was not necessarily my intent.
Revision Note: The original has some colored type that emphasises some of the forms. I have added that hint in the current version. It is not possible to do in the poem postings area of PoetrySoup. Red text indicates primary words and blue indicates seconday forms.
The key is the title bow hows as well as the first words of the poem. Try saying it aloud (I believe poetry should always be read aloud, even if the reader is alone.) Pronounce the "o" in bow as you would pronounce the "o" in how. This will give a phonetic approximation to the name of the famous German school of architecture: bauhaus.
Then there is a hint  in lines 8 - 13 which is, in my opinion, a well-known description(?) of the style developed at the school, form follows function. My original posting had a typo in funktion (missing the "k" in the German spelling) which I corrected.
Then we come to the last lines, rests on 2 pillars which are named in the last lines, :eEc and wCw: e e Cummings and  William Carlos Williams.
More below
b    w
o    w
h    s
where form
rests on 2
p   i   l
l       a
r       s
E       C
e  c     w  w
Now, of course, the reader may not agree with my selections as the two pillars, but they are for me. The reason is, regarding e e Cummings, that he wrote a small collection entitled Experiments with Typography, Spacing and Sound (1916 - 17.) For instance in A Girl's Ring he wrote:
        the sky
was              can  dy
lu                          mi
        nous                   ed
               spry         pinks
               shy                     lem
        ons . . .
And regarding William Carlos Williams, he wrote much in a style seen often today and that I often use:
A Negro Woman
carrying a bunch of marigolds
in an old newspaper.
She carries them upright,
the bulk
of her thighs
causing her to waddle
as she walks . . 
I enjoyed writing bow hows and hope you enjoy reading it :-) 
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Date: 12/12/2019 3:25:00 PM
Ooh they're colored
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riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/12/2019 4:36:00 PM
yep :-) since at least part of the idea is that people SEE what is going on, I though colors might help -:) - beto
Date: 12/11/2019 1:53:00 AM
Hmmm! Completely missed the “Bauhaus” pun although I did work out the two poets (but only because you mentioned them in your blog lol!) Makes a bit more sense now! A new genre - puzzle poems?
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riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/11/2019 1:12:00 PM
In this case, my interest was to write a poem that connects to another interest, architecture (I have designed houses). I think I would call this visual poetry. The anthropomorphic aspect is simply a side effect. Maybe I will write more about this someday. In my original, the architectural aspects are colored. beto
Parmenter Avatar
Nina Parmenter
Date: 12/11/2019 12:54:00 PM
I thought it was a little person lol! (If I’d ‘got’ the Bauhaus, I might have got the pillars; if I’d ‘got’ the pillars, I might have got the Bauhaus...”)
riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/11/2019 12:50:00 PM
Nina, there are two other hints in the form that I did not mention. bow hows has the form of a house and pillars are two columns with lintel ("rests on 2) resting on the columns (pillars). All just and experiment :-) beto
Date: 12/10/2019 10:06:00 PM
I am very prone to migraines so I quite simply dismiss poems written like this as my eyes cannot handle it...form following function begs the question of what is the function of poetry? If English is read left to right, then your first 3 lines I will read as 'the o b w' which makes no sense to me... and while I know that the experiment here is to draw whilst writing, I'd rather your words are written in normal form and you paint a picture in the background...I like shape poems but consider the best to be the ones that can have the lines still read left to right whilst taking shape without breaking actual words apart...
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Woodrow Avatar
Susan Woodrow
Date: 12/11/2019 5:17:00 PM
okay...the colored ink helps somewhat but again...the cryptic can get too involved where the audience is lost and then your question never awakens...I see and read : the (uh?????) where form follows function rest on two pillars and (uh ????) You have posed two questions but I am lost whereas if you'd just written it out as a straight line without the cryptic elements :"The Bauhaus...EEC and WCW" then my questions are more specifically - what are the those 2 pillars and who are EEC and WCW...just a side note - what i've seen of Bauhaus leaves a lot to be desired of form! I think function needs to choose the most efficient & aesthetically safe forms.. :))
riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/11/2019 4:41:00 PM
Susan, the primary intent of these experiments involves using form to replace punctuation, something I often do; c.f. my work Unravelling and Gazing. For me, the primary function of poetry is to awaken the reader to a question. IMO, form helps achieve that goal. - beto

My Past Blog Posts

Darkness Revisited :: decomposed
Date Posted: 1/17/2020 2:51:00 PM
On Poetry :: Punctuation
Date Posted: 12/28/2019 4:29:00 PM
Have Some Fun
Date Posted: 12/16/2019 1:02:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Using a Word Processor
Date Posted: 12/14/2019 1:21:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Typography II
Date Posted: 12/12/2019 4:57:00 PM
bow hows decrypted
Date Posted: 12/10/2019 4:41:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Typography I
Date Posted: 12/6/2019 6:11:00 PM
On Poetry :: How I Translate
Date Posted: 11/22/2019 5:08:00 PM
On Poetry :: Translation
Date Posted: 11/20/2019 3:39:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
1/15/2020 Howard Street - 1948 Free verselife,social,
1/10/2020 Darkness Revisited - revision Coupletdark,hope,life,
1/5/2020 An Educated Man Free verseeducation,life,philosophy
1/3/2020 Darkness Revisited Free versedark,hope,life,
12/31/2019 b Free versei am,philosophy,
12/27/2019 Now Free verseintrospection,philosophy,
12/24/2019 A Question Free versedark,fear,hope,
12/20/2019 cogito ergo sum Free verseintrospection,philosophy,
12/17/2019 HAIKU :: 9 :: CHANGE Haikuallegory,change,
12/13/2019 Three O'clock in the Morning Free verseallegory,life,marriage,
12/8/2019 bow hows Shapelanguage,poetry,
12/7/2019 Unravelling Free verselanguage,philosophy,poetr
12/5/2019 Gazing Free verseallegory,life,
12/4/2019 Put your heart 'round me Free verseconflict,hope,peace,roman
12/2/2019 Fighting for Peace Free versepeace,war,
11/23/2019 Wuji :: Quietude Free versesymbolism,universe,
11/21/2019 The Box Free verseallegory,dark,death,depre
11/20/2019 The Infernal Serpent Free verseconflict,peace,
11/20/2019 HAIKU :: 8 :: SPARROWS Haikuimagery,nature,water,
11/19/2019 For Jack Free verseencouraging,freedom,hope,
11/19/2019 HAIKU :: 7 :: SUNRISE Haikuhope,imagery,peace,sun,
11/18/2019 Living into Peace Free verseanxiety,peace,philosophy,
11/18/2019 HAIKU :: 6 :: A TRILOGY Haikuencouraging,life,relation
11/17/2019 Night Silence Free verseallegory,dark,loneliness,
11/17/2019 HAIKU :: 5 :: COLORS Haikucolor,flower,hope,imagery
11/16/2019 HAIKU :: 4 :: SCARLET BIRD Haikuautumn,bird,imagery,life,
11/15/2019 HAIKU :: 3 :: LIFE Haikucolor,imagery,life,solitu
11/14/2019 HAIKU :: 2 :: AUTUMN Haikuimagery,nature,november,p
11/13/2019 HAIKU :: 1 :: GRIEF Haikudark,depression,grief,
11/9/2019 scream of silence Free verseallegory,dark,fear,night,
11/8/2019 the cave Free verseallegory,dark,hope,romanc
10/29/2019 Rain in Mexico Free verseallegory,color,hope,image
10/25/2019 Truth Free versedark,night,truth,
10/23/2019 The Blind Man Free versedark,political,satire,soc
10/15/2019 What to do Free versedark,peace,war,
10/11/2019 howl of despair Free versedark,depression,howl,loss

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