Seeing Faith

In Robert Kendall’s digital poem, Faith, I think the biggest thing that I noticed which coincides with what we talked about in class is the aspect of the visual that can be captured much more vividly in the digital realm compared to any other period of literature. The first thing we come across when looking at the poem is the word “logic” literally bouncing off of the title, “Faith,” of which is at the top center in big, elegant font. Soon words fly on to the screen and the first part of the poem appears in different parts of the screen, saying “logic can’t bend this.” While much could be drawn upon the meaning of that statement in a still literary sense, contrasting logic to faith and their respective roles in society etc, I think it’s interesting that Kendall instead uses the digital medium he’s been given to invoke an entirely different meaning. By this he also means that logic literally can’t bend faith, as the words bounce off and faith is the only word that remains completely still. The movement of the words becomes the most important facet of the entire poem. As you click onward, more words continue to fly on the page, words that are very strategically placed upon the page in order to create layers of meaning for each time you click. One comparison I thought of in classic literature is in the use of alliteration. When we come across this in poetry, the first use that I often think of is the audio nature of the words in similar sounding syllables and so forth. But another aspect of alliteration is visual: when we actually see certain words that look similar on the page, we can recognize the importance of them without necessarily having to read them out loud. I think Kendall takes this part of alliteration a giant step further by having the words themselves move in different directions and coincide with the words’ meanings themselves. Another example is in the third layer when we see the words “red,” “winking,” and “neon,” flashing in place and in the next layer when the word “Leap” literally expands in size and moves up as if to jump out and actually take a leap of faith. Thus it’s clear to me now more than ever that the digital realm gives writers a unique opportunity by providing a limitless amount of options to play around with meanings of words in entirely different ways, particularly visually.