Type I // Paragraph / Week 1

The first assignment was to find a paragraph that has the opposite meaning of our word. The opposite word in Arabic that was in the list wasn’t exactly the opposite. So I started to look through the dictionaries online to find the right opposite word for precise. The only word I found that worked was ‘inaccurate’.

It was hard to find quotes or poems that talked about inaccuracies. So I went back to the word experiments that I did, and looked at all the binary opposites that I explored. I liked my nature and organic themed ones, because they were a good binary opposite to precise, mechanical and exact. I then went back to look for a paragraph, and I came across this poem that talks about the universe and nature.

It worked really well for my concept, because time in space is different than time on earth. Time changes according to gravity in space, and on earth we created this precise time system that is arbitrary. So the paragraph is the opposite of the word in two ways; technical and exact vs organic and natural, and space time vs arbitrary earth time.


قصيدة جمال الطبيعة

نجومٌ حلوةٌ تزهو *** ملأنَ الكونَ أنوارا

نراها في السما تعلو *** وتهدي سائراً حارَ

وفي أوساطها قمر *** كقلبٍ للسما صارَ

ودفء الشمس نرقبه *** شروقاً منها إبكارا

وأرض زانها العشبُ *** حوت بحراً وأنهارا

وأشجاراً لنا ظل *** جنينا منها أثمارا

وعذب الماء من مطرٍ *** على الوديان قد سارَ

ليسقي الزرعَ والبشرَ *** جواداً كان مدرارا

فلتك طبيعة غناء *** غدت للفكرِ أسرارا

إلهُ الكونِ سواها *** عليها كان قهّارا

حامد الصفدي –

I then started to experiment with different compositions. However I didn’t have to do all the mistakes we did before with the sentence, because I now know what works and what doesn’t. So I played with the layout, highlighting important words, and breaking and composing the paragraph itself. I broke up the paragraph according to the type of nature that was mentioned in the verses. I tried setting it as a real poem because that was the natural way you would read a poem. I also tried setting it as a simple paragraph to see if it affected the way you read the poem, and if you can still recognize that it’s a poem as you read it. I found that because it was a rhyming poem, it didn’t affect it as much. The only thing that changed was that when you first see the paragraph you don’t expect a poem. I tried different ways to set the poem with it’s separated verses in different ways, to try and experiment with the normal poem format. I played with the align tool to see how the ragged lefts, rights and justified effected the visuals of the paragraph. The right alignment worked best because it was the natural way you would read Arabic. I tried justifying the paragraph in a way to make rivers, because the paragraph talked about oceans and rivers. I thought it would be interesting to see how that would look.

First Paragraph Compositions

After the critique, the professors said that even though my paragraph mentioned rivers, I didn’t really need to show rivers. I did notice that it didn’t look that good. It also affected the way you read the poem, because of the amount of empty space between the words.

We were told to stick to black and white for our next experiments so that we can try to achieve the fifty grey when we squint. We were also told to avoid justification for two reasons, they create rivers, and they prevent us from learning how to make good rags.


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