An E-Center for Teachers and Learners
Multimodal poetry is poetry that uses recent technologies to create and interpret poetry
using multiple modes (e.g., audio, visual, gestural,etc.).

View poetry. You can view a multimodal poetry interpretation below or under the Examples
Page.  We recommend first time visitors start here.

Before you watch the poem, we recommend reading the print-based version of the poem.  Read
the poem and think about what it means and how you create meaning.  Don't worry there will
not be a quiz! Then view the digital interpretation and think about your response to that. At
the bottom of this page, you can read comments by the student who created the poem.
Draw a line. Write a line. There
Stay in line, hold the line, a glance
between the lines is fine but don't
turn corners, cross, cut in, go over
or out, between two points of no
return's a line of flight, between
two points of view's a line of vision.
But a line of thought is rarely
straight, an open line's no party
line, however fine your point.
A line of fire communicates, but drop
your weapons and drop your line,
consider the shortest distance from x
to y, let x be me, let y be you.
Lines by Martha Collins was featured on
Poetry 180  (retrieved February 23, 2007).
About This Poetry Interpretation

This interpretation was created by "Reba" a student in a literacy course for pre-service
teachers.  Here is some of what Reba had to say about her project:

         When I began this poetry interpretation project, I was a little apprehensive because
of my struggle with the direction in my interpretations. I am constantly trying to find the
exact meaning behind the poem, and I find it hard to gauge the poet's intent. What I did
learn doing this project was that I should not limit myself in thinking that there is only
one way of interpreting a poem.

        I think often times students get discouraged when studying poetry because they
may have differing interpretations from their classmates and teacher.  As teachers,  
believe it is important to make sure that w do not discourage our students from their
interpretations by forcing our own [interpretations] on them.  The best way to a have
students feel more confident in their interpretations is not to dismiss them, but to make
them explain their thinking behind their interpretations.

        This [electronic representation and written reflection] forced me to explain my
thinking behind my interpretation, and it forced me to create a multi-modal text to present
my interpretation. I had to produce a text that 'goes far beyond images and words to
include sounds, music, movement, bodily sensations and smells' in order to portray my
interpretation of the poem I chose. (Gee, 2003, p.)....I constantly found myself asking,
'Why did I include_______in my presentation? How does it convey meaning? What
meaning is it going to convey?'


Gee, J. P. (2003).