Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Covering poetry: essays vs. blog entries vs. annotations on RapGenius

Earlier today, I moved between three different projects and modes of practice. I worked on an essay about poetry. I worked on a blog entry concerning poetry, and I worked on annotations on RG.

A year ago, I was only pursuing essays (including book chapters) and blog entries projects on poetry. Four years ago, I was primarily producing essays and book chapters. If you told me today that I could only write essays, I would assume somebody's poetry had said something really bad about your mama. How else to explain your meanness toward the genre?     

Seriously though, these different modes have greatly enhanced my engagements with poetry and perhaps my overall appreciation. Before I became an active blogger, I had no idea that I was even capable of writing 5 or so paragraphs about poems nearly everyday. The benefit of essay writing was the extended time for researching and thinking through pieces.

Blogging helped me significantly cut the time between writing and sharing my observations about poetry. Back in my "essay only" days, months would pass before I had the opportunity to share what I thought and wrote with broader audiences. Blogging inspired me to consider much more seriously the needs and interests of readers beyond fellow poetry scholars and literature professors.   

I'm still at the very early stages of my RapGenius work; however, I already recognize changes in my approaches. Despite widespread observations concerning how aspects of technology and internet use diminish our cognitive skills, annotating poems and lyrics on RG perhaps inclines me to participate in close reading in new ways. In addition, the culture of RG prompts me to use images to annotate and explain lines of verse in ways that I would not have done otherwise in essays and blog entries.

Not to hate on the old "essay only" me, but my current essayist, blogger, RapGenius self feels more active and intellectually engaged.

A Notebook on RapGenius
My work as a Blogger vs. my work as an Author 

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