“Väljarna” (“Elect”) by Johannes Heldén

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Screen capture from "Väljarna" ("Elect") by Johannes Heldén. Grey background with the silhouette of a pine tree in the middle. There are various lines of text on the image. Text: The lines of text are too small to read.
Open “Väljarna” (“Elect”) by Johannes Heldén

This responsive poem takes the concept of the cut-up and places it in a hauntingly beautiful interface. Based on an image of a wintry Swedish landscape populated by a single evergreen tree and blackbirds against a misty gray sky, this environment is filled with visible and invisible input cues for readers to click on and reveal the texts. The visible cues are the birds, which bring forth the poem suspended in the sky into readability, one bird and line at a time. The sky itself is a grid of hotspots that when clicked reveal a portion of a narrative prose poem in the black background of the earth. The sounds and understated movements of the mist, tree, and birds create a disquieting mood that suits the situation described in the text, one that is full of darkness, implications of violence, and a mystery that encourages readers to explore every surface in this work to get as much information as possible.

Is this poem haunted by a similar zeitgeist as affected Robert Creeley? Or Wallace Stevens?

Featured in ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature

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