Monday, September 22, 2014

What is Mutated Poetry?

Poetry exists because of, and not in spite of, its cultural contexts. But those contexts are fragile. What happens when they change?

Mutated Poetry is an attempt to find out by transforming poetry in an imaginative context. It is neither science fiction, nor science fact, but a speculative linguistic reality. Just as biological mutation has no inherent purpose - not even survival - so a mutated poem may only incidentally have aesthetic value. But if it has, it may survive.

In the context of plays, West Side Story is a mutation of Romeo and Juliet. We can trace its lineage because it retains the central myth of Shakespeare's original.

But what happens when even that myth is removed? Is the DNA of the original destroyed?

Can Shakespeare's Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day survive without the subject of his affection - or are their destinies bound together, like star crossed lovers?

These and other not so serious questions are being asked, and occasionally answered, at Poetry WTF?! So if you think you know such stuff as dreams are made of, why not grow a little culture in the petri dish?