Reflection Essay



Going into this project I knew I wanted to use a previous idea I had for a poem, but adapt it to create a poem with an interactive experience. I chose this path because one of the themes I found to be repetitive throughout my studies of avant-garde art and writing this semester was that everything produced was engaging or thought provoking, you or your mind were forced to interact in some way. Every piece was more than just something to look at. My mission developed from their.

First, I wrote my poem, “Objects May Be Larger Than They Appear.” I wrote the poem like I would any other poem, and tried not the think about how I would make it interactive until I had finished it.


Objects May Be Larger Than They Appear

Hold a globe in your hand

Don’t think about traveling or how it rolls into your palm

Or how people managed to simplify something so complex

Or the differences between one side of it to the other

Or all the places you have never seen

And maybe will never see

Deny yourself those thoughts

Consider the need for the globe

The fundamental obligation

To the one thing it does not display


Starve for perspective that does not

Bring visibility to them

To their reality, to their flaws

To their existence

A sphere of reality

That transforms them into

An unmeasurable presence

A presence so minute

It isn’t pictured

Yet so powerful

It can juggle

the world

Second, I looked for a program that would allow me to play and alter the path of the poem, a program that worked like a web, much like the destinations on a world map. Therefore, every line needed to connect to another, but there still needed to be a clear ending. I ended up using Twine an interactive story mapping tool that works in the form of webs. Adapting my poem into an interactive format with Twine was not too challenging, however, using Twine with WordPress turned out to be quite the process. I had to seek help from multiple people, before learning, from a friend of a friend who walked by and noticed I was using Twine, that in order to even save a Twine file I had to download the program and not use it on a web browser. From that point, I began just pasting anything I could into the plugins that a media tutor from my school helped me find. After many hours of working on my own and with a media tutor, one time it worked! This was a huge relief, because we were getting to the point that I might have to find a new program that was more compatible with WordPress, and start from the beginning. We are still unsure why it did not work before because the final solution appears to be one of the options the media tutor tried initially.

Third, I wanted to put an image or two into my poem on Twine, but apparently this is extremely difficult to do with Twine 2. I met with an instructor from my school’s ITS program, and he helped me come to the conclusion that it was best to just put images into WordPress around the Twine post. This was not my ideal plan, but was what I had to do this time around.

In conclusion, there were many highs and lows in creating this project; however, I am really proud of the final product. When I first started I knew I wanted people to be able to click and move around within the poem and still have it make sense, but I had no idea how it would look. I think the final product is sleek, and not too busy, considering the interactive element makes it busy already.

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