The words are the lines of a drawing on a white page of silence. Our thinking is the mixed sum of images and words. Each letter if we look at it is a drawing, a curved line, two straight lines, several points… When I describe something, for example a tall and leafy tree, I can see it arise in the land of imagination and I can draw it. And Poetry is the magical world of images, we access it not only through words or drawings but also through sound or color. Visual Poetry transmutes the word, transcends it, through the combination of objects, sounds, colours and shapes.

What is Visual Poetry?


First we would have to dig into the meaning of poetry: poems are not only words: “they are the emotions that stop them, their ideas, dreams and graphics, defined bodies of lines and shapes, volumes, textures and colours. The poems are, on the blank page, architectures, objects, presences – in short – that do not imitate the thing but recreate it, discover it, reveal it ”. (12). Poetry is the job of making words vibrate, elaborate and polish images, words are the stone on which the poem is molded.

We will, however, look at the obverse of the matter.

It is inevitable to summon Poetry to stop naming the history of writing and its most decisive stages, this relationship between drawing and word is much older than it seems. A written trace is at the same time a drawing.

Pictograms, the first steps in writing, were ways of writing, relating, doing calculations; these drawings made by the ancestors also included magical meanings. The logogram or ideogram in which “meaning, sound and architecture” come together appear in this journey, since the object is drawn on the page to talk about it.

Hieroglyphs and syllabaries and of course the immense rolls of paper where images and first approximations to the written text were recorded, are part of such a wide repertoire in which they were masterfully conjugated – since the the word and the drawing were made by hand.

Calligraphy has been, years later, the one that has overcome, in part, these historical moments of writing, taking them to a different field: the world of visual creation. This arrival supposes the expression of abstract ideas in fully written form has been achieved. Calligraphy could only emerge after the total apprehension of the written system. And then, working on itself, it reaches splendorous, voluptuous and sensual forms. No longer, the printing press arises and typography takes hold as an aesthetic form: it enables organization and clarity in the transmission of these ideas.

Speaking about the Visual Poetry, I would like to start with this phrase: “visual poems aspire to say with typographic exuberance, to draw, and even more, to dispute a space for objects”. Visual poetry has been the result of “Experimentation” of several contemporary poets. In fact, perhaps this experimentation has brought them back to the original meaning of poetry, words and images, since in a certain sense drawing and writing have remained united since long ago.


“A visual poem seeks its own body and blood.” 

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