Gazing Poetic Sound by El No

Language has two aspects - sound and meaning, and yet we don't tend to care about sound as much as we care about its meaning when using language. This project attempts to draw attention to sound features of the language by visually mapping phonetic qualities of the certain written text. A poem has been chosen to be visualised because of the fact that poetry is the literary form where the sound is highly relevant. In poetry, sound is an important source of poetic potency and is deliberately chosen and arranged to reinforce or to undercut meaning.

The output suggests a new way of engaging with the poetic text - observing sound dynamics and patterns in visual forms. It shows a range of phonetic features and relations throughout the Korean lyric poem 'The night the owl cried' written by Joonkwan Lee (부흥이 우는 밤, 이준관 시인). 567 Korean letters ('Hangul'), of which 335 are consonants and 232 are vowels, have been turned into the symbols and arranged on the staves. The visualisation will let you explore the ways the sound works with the meaning. If you don't understand the Korean language, try and imagine what the meaning might be just by looking at the sounds but really closely.