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jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (7 posts)

What is the best way to format shape poetry?

  1. lovebuglena profile image85
    lovebuglenaposted 5 years ago

    What is the best way to format shape poetry?

    I write poetry and love to experiment with shape poetry. I was wondering what is the best way to format poetry into perfect shapes? For example format a poem so that it looks like a tree, or a flower, or a snowflake, etc. I usually just play around with the spacing of words and their placement on the page but it's hard to get the lines to format a shape perfectly. And it's very time consuming and stressful. If you've done shape poetry before can you share your experience and any suggestions you may have...

  2. tsmog profile image83
    tsmogposted 5 years ago

    What a great question. I really don't know. I know there is a young lady in the UK who is very famous for creating scenes with the typewriter. Yet, it isn't poetry, only characters used.

    I have a suggestion. Do you have Excel or another spreadsheet software program. If so, I would go to excel and size the cells as even squares using the column width and row height feature. Then I would create the shape by filling in the squares with a color. Then I would write the poem. Then I would type the letters words into the colored cells / squares until I had what I wanted.

    The bigger challenge would be to place that into a hub. The module or capsules I don't think will facilitate the spacing of the characters. So, You would need to use Corel Draw or some type of software that would covert that image to a photo image like jpg or ping. Copy pasting the image from excel and not get the cell lines would be a question I don't have an answer too. Maybe another here at Hubpages does?

    Good luck. And, write about your adventure and post it here at hubpages.


    1. lovebuglena profile image85
      lovebuglenaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the suggestion tsmog. I'm working on my poetry book and want to make some poetry into shapes. I did a few of them already - tree, boat ... It takes a lot of time to do to get it just right. Wondered if an easier way to do it.

  3. Docmo profile image91
    Docmoposted 5 years ago

    Shape poetry is also known as ' concrete poetry'  or 'visual poetry' . This art form dates as far back as 2-3 BC and there are examples from Egyptian and medieval poetry. It was pioneered in the 19th and twentieth centruryby many poets. Guillaume Apollinaire, a French poet is the one I remember first coming across first, apart from some examples by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland,

    The shaping of the words and their arrangement within a certain form that simulate or indicate a theme contained within is obviously easier when you do it by hand.

    I have used shapes in word processor and 'filled' text in them or reshaped text boxes. There are many ways of doing them using software like publisher or paint shop pro.  It is better done in a graphics program rather than battling to format them in a word processor. I usually write them out by hand and then transfer the idea onto computer. 

    Good luck with your attempts.

    1. lovebuglena profile image85
      lovebuglenaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your suggestions Docmo. You have offered some great ideas that are worth looking into and trying out.

  4. Darrylmdavis profile image78
    Darrylmdavisposted 5 years ago

    I've often wondered this myself as I have yet to find the "ideal solution" in my view.

    I tend to design them in Word but I do like the .xlsx suggestion someone made here. Depending on the nature of what I am creating, I sometimes use Powerpoint.

    To create this coffee cup poem and be able to make a Hub of it, I designed it in Word, imported it into .pptx and then saved it as a picture which is then uploaded into the hub. The only issue with this is that .pptx is far more restrictive in terms of fonts than .docx so I was not able to keep the original fonts (which looked better and was a little easier to read).

  5. rauffray profile image61
    rauffrayposted 5 years ago

    You are referring to concret poetry.  The answers already given are very good in my opinion.  For the reasons that you have mentioned, I very rarely use this format.