Writers International Edition


Although the image can be considered a resource of desire, poetry is, instead, a voice that comes from within. Image and poetry are governed by a figurative and sensual design, evoking a union to create something new in an interdisciplinary way. Poetry makes you fly, and the image makes you dream. The poet represents the image using the word, so the language of poetry is given over to the task of imagining the image and making the unthinkable see. In turn, the artist represents poetry using the visible, so that the language of art is given over to the task of representing poetry and making the message visible. An intrinsic and empathetic relationship arises, externalizing and intensifying the mimicry of a unique world, expressing feelings and emotions, thereby pursuing a representation of an innovative vision of the environment.

In this context, we can speak of poetry, characterized by the close interaction of verbal and visual language, where the image accompanies the verse, while the visual discourse of the image interacts with the word to elaborate the poetic world. The visual appeals to emotion through action, while poetry, in turn, emphasizes the predominance of a verbal register, both fields focused on philosophical and intimate reflection, with a message that is wanted to be transmitted both with the word and with the visual. From this interaction of verbal and visual signs, a sense is born and develops that establishes a synergy and a relationship of interdependence, that is, constituting an indivisible and unalterable aesthetic and formal unit.

The collaboration of the poet and the artist will be decisive in the relevance of the image or visual art in relation to poetry, linked to the internal organization of the components of the work, bringing the poems to fruition combined with the images. In some cases, it is about poetry created for images, in other cases it is the reverse, it is about images created for poetry. At this point, both poet and visual artist can decide the degree of autonomy or dependence between poetry and image, so that each image-poem can be read independently or maintain a unifying sequence, where the illustrations are presented together with the poems, in a certain order that suggests a journey through an aesthetic and thematic unit, both from a verbal and visual point of view. The interaction between images and words in the construction of meaning is considered essential, neither poetry nor image are a secondary complement to each other, both have their own characteristics attributed to the poetic self and the artistic self.

Poetry is characterized by its internal cohesion, its rhythmic and sound qualities, the predominance of poetic connotation, a meaning, freedom, expressive and linguistic creativity, linking with the artistic dimension characterized by its interpretive qualities, emotion and sensitivity. , expressive creativity and the aesthetic part of art. In this way, both expressive elements (verbal and visual) form an aesthetic unit and converge in the construction of meaning, resulting in a work made of words and images.

When image and poetry evolve into live art, performance art&poetry appears. Art in action or performance, as avant-garde art linked to poetry, shows actions carried out by the artist within an interdisciplinary context. Here, the performance needs the presence and execution of the artist himself, who plays an important and fundamental role, involving time, space, the body and the relationship with the public. His goal is to generate a reaction, sometimes with the help of improvisation and a sense of aesthetics, linked around concepts of visual art. It is not just a stage performance, it is a unique and sublime experience, where it merges with the poetic message. Poetry in performance emerges to distinguish vocal interpretations based on the word from artistic interpretations, in a joint work of scenic and visual interpretation. Performance poets draw on the rhetorical and philosophical expression of their poetics, while the artist often challenges the audience to think in new and unconventional ways, to break the concepts of traditional arts and to transform the traditional and academic idea of ​​the art into an aesthetic experience.

Analysing the various aspects of poetic language and visual art, we can see that there is an innovative journey that goes from poetry to image and performance, or on the contrary, from visual art to poetic language. The two have always had a very close relationship. In this way, we can say that “art is silent poetry and poetry is speaking art”, as Simónides of Ceos (VI-V BC) already expressed and later Horace placing poetry dependent on the image.

From this dependence between poetry and art we can affirm that poetry can build something that does not exist or represent the plastically unpresentable, while visual art can represent the entire underlying world of poetic language and give it scenic life, either as an “epogram”, a verbal inscription on an object or body in a subsidiary relation to the word, either as “ekphrasis” that allows a detailed description of the object or body and places the image and the word on the same plane, or as “emblem” or “emblematic poetry”, where the object or body is more than an image, it is a code, it cannot be silent and needs the support of the word.

Article by Articles / By Joan Josep Barcelo & Filippo Papa

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

A highly interesting article on disciplines of art combined, i.e. verbal and visual form, constituting an aesthetic unit where image and poetry evolve into live art producing an overall outstanding performance. Congratulations to poet Joan Josep Barcelo and artist Filippo Pappa for this amazing outcome!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x