Narrative, or word Play?
I found "A Humument" to be surprisingly engaging, as traditional forms of peotry are abandoned and rather than meter, rhyme and structure creating a flow to the language, the active pull of the visualization of a complete poem on a scattered page of words is what pulls you through the work. As I was reading the book at first, I observed what seemed to be a poem about the act of making poetry, and then seemed to be about the associations of love with poetry. As I got further and discovered the implication of a narrative, I discovered that what I was reading was the personal expressions of the author on and about the creation of poetry through himself and the character 'toge', who is both the creation of his poetry and also a representation of himself. The narrative, if that's what you can call it, vaguely follows a poetically inclined life through it's ups and downs and the kinds of life experiences thet engendre poetry in the first place. In the style of the epic, each page is a snapshot of a moment, or an experience, or a feeling that could not be expressed. Also much like an epic, as the book moves further on the author brings in other characters who are captured in the midst of their experiences of life in the pages of his book, and every person experiences life differently so he brings new colors and tones into his poetry as he adds new (or old) characters, both in a literary and a perfectly literal sense made possible by the visual execution of the work.
The poetry also makes me curious about the book, as while the poetry does not follow the characters of "A Human Document", it very obviously follows the emotional tone of the book, given the useable repetitions of words that appear in the poetry. The language that we use is part of how one creates a mood in a poem or a book, and the author is using the language that was already available, which leaves me inclined to believe that he read the Victorian novel as it was written and saw the potential for something else hidden in it's pages. The book as it has been presented to us appears to be about the evolution of poetry through life and conversly the expression of life as poetry. "I am sad and so I write poetry, but also I am sad and that in and of itself is poetry", the true poet sees poetry everywhere. It is a poetical expression of life, love, art, the travails of the writer, the pain in the world that makes beauty beautiful, and the fluidity of all things as life and experiences overlap to form systems of ups and downs that our classically trained minds experience as poetry and art. The visual aspect is facinating as he uses it for stops, pauses, tone, and the almost forceful dragging of the reader through the book much as one lyrically trickles through a Frost poem. Given the disconnected and haphazard word placement on the pages, the art is also like a guide, and is the only reason the poetry makes sense.
I quite liked it. It was like a playground for my brain.