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English, German, Jandl Ernst, Language

Ernst Jandl : Experimental poetry

ernst jandl


Ernst Jandl (1925-2000, Vienna) is Austria’s most famous writer of experimental poetry in the tradition of expressionism and dadaism. Stylistically, he cuts and distorts, bends and mixes words, leaves vowels away, exchanges consonants, removes syllables, mixes words of different languages and reads his poems in a way that they make perfect and wonderful sense again in the end.

Jandl himself classifies his poems into four groups: Poems in normal language, sound poetry, speech poetry and visual poetry. A full understanding and appreciation probably requires a deeper understanding of German, due to the phonetic importance and the rhythm of Jandl’s work, translations make little sense.

Jandl was often linked with the Vienna Group, whose concrete poetry employed graphic patterns and other typographical elements to convey meaning. His best-known works included the volume Laut und Luise (1966) and the 1962 poem “Heldenplatz.”

«Poems of Ernst Jandl»

An oversize pair of lips announces a ‘graphic text interpretation with computer graphics and animation’. Poems by Ernst Jandl, in part spoken by the poet himself, form the basis of this early example of computer animation, which Eku Wand created with an Amiga 2000 at the end of the 1980s. The basic arrangement consists of a grid-like mosaic of 25 squares, each almost completely filled with the same image of a mouth. Wand sets them in motion by retrieving lip positions connected with particular sounds and combining them. Free, ornamental patterns and rhythmic reactions illustrate Jandl’s concrete poetry. The computer-generated video clip acts as a kind of optical synthesizer that, by means of a closed system, transforms sounds fed into the computer into visual events.(more here: www.facebook.com/poems.of.ernst.jandl)

Poems by Ernst Jandl voice

“die mutter und das kind” by ernst jandl

“Die mutter und das kind” by Ernst Jandl


der künstliche Baum


10 thoughts on “Ernst Jandl : Experimental poetry

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  7. Thank you for including my 2D computer animation: “Poems of Ernst Jandl”. I am always pleased and happy that people still like my graduation work from 1989 at Berlin University of the Arts — almost 24 years ago now! :—)


    Posted by Eku Wand | July 9, 2013, 7:07 pm
  8. If you want to find more about the genesis of my Jandl animation work please feel free to visit my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/poems.of.ernst.jandl


    Posted by Eku Wand | July 9, 2013, 7:12 pm

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