Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 16
- Grade: 11
For thousands of years, formal compositional rules of rhyme, metre and rhetorical devices have shaped the language of poetry, creating “meaning” through the interplay between these culturally determined aesthetic prerequisites imposed on its syntax, and the “other” intelligence of the poet pushing against these constraints. Bardy Google reinvents these formal boundaries within the frame of our wired world.
With only one hidden exception, each of the texts in this book was constructed through Frank Davey’s use of speci—cally devised Internet searches. The “rules” for their composition varied: “Love + 560” began at the 560th line of the search results; most selections excluded incomplete sentences; most included only the “rst sentence of a search result; all excluded sentences in which all the terms searched for did not occur; and all except two sequenced the sentences in the order found. Some, such as “Time Lapse Action,” “Sorry” and “The Imaginaries,” contain tonal shifts enabled by an abrupt change of the search protocol during their composition. In all cases, any re-composition of the pieces was done only by revising the initial search protocol and generating a new text to replace a previous one.
Because the content of the Internet, and the search-engine priorities assigned to that content, change continuously, these texts are unique and unrepeatable. The same search protocols used in a later month or year could produce quite different results from those assembled here—or distressingly similar ones.
These texts are part of Davey’s ongoing work on the use of the sentence as the basic structural unit of poetry—to create poetic texts, as they have always been created, out of the materials of prose. They also constitute another of his forays into cultural commentary—in this case, disclosing how our engagement with globalized culture creates meaning as it “speaks through itself.”
About the author
Born in Vancouver, Frank Davey was Carl F. Klinck Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Western Ontario. Upon his retirement in 2005, the conference “Poetics and Public Culture in Canada” was held in his honour. Davey attended the University of British Columbia where he was a co-founder of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH. Since 1963, he has been the editor-publisher of the poetics journal Open Letter. With fellow TISH poet Fred Wah, Davey founded the world’s first on-line literary magazine, SwiftCurrent in 1984.
A prolific and highly-esteemed author of numerous books and scholarly articles on Canadian literary criticism and poetry, Davey writes with a unique panache as he examines with humour and irony the ambiguous play of signs in contemporary culture, the popular stories that lie behind it, and the struggles between different identity-based groups in our globalizing society—racial, regional, gender-based, ethnic, economic—that drive this play.
Bardy GoogleDavey has reinvented how poetry is written by abandoning many poetic conventions such as rhyme and metre. Instead, Davey utilizes technology, using full sentence results of specifically designed Google searches to construct his poems. This poetry is much like “surfing the net” where one is bombarded by images of contemporary culture. In “Global Positioning” Davey explores the impact of bombs on society from Taliban bomb-making networks to “F-bombs” and “ethnic bombs”. In “Sorry” Davey contemplates how meaningless the word has become in the hands of politicians and others. In “Exceed Your Limits” Davey examines the implications of exceeding limits on credit cards.
Since 1965 Davey has been the editor of Open Letter, A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory. He also wrote Back to the War, Postcards to Canada and Postcards from the Raj.
Caution: Some coarse language.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.
Other titles by Frank Davey
Poems Suitable to Current Material Conditions
A Preliminary Biography
A Preliminary Biography
When Tish Happens
The Unlikely Story of Canada’s “Most Influential Literary Magazine”
All These Roads
The Poetry of Louis Dudek