Mormon Concrete Poetry

When you first come across what is now called concrete poetry, shape poetry or visual poetry, you might think it is an attempt to be cutesy, or a fad of some kind. In fact this kind of poetry has been created since the 2nd or 3rd century B.C., and was the subject of a movement and manifesto from a group of highly-regarded Brazilian poets in the 1950s.

Among other things, concrete poetry uses the shape and layout of the poem (the typographic arrangement of letters and words) as an element of the poem. In concrete poetry the shape of the poem also conveys meaning.

Knowing all this, I was very pleased to come across an 1835 example of concrete poetry in the Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate.

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