e-Lit Resource
Kinepoeia and Pictopoeia

Kinepoeia is movement suggested by the textual representation of the word. An example of kinepoeia is seen in the 2nd Movement of Rob Kendall’s “Faith” when the word, “edge,” literally sidles or edges in, suggesting “doubt" creeping in and testing our faith when logic finds its way in.

Pictopoeia refers to the use of a letter to reflects an image of a concept. An example of pictopoeia can be found in the kinetic poem “oh” (2005) by Jennifer Hill-Kaucher, Dan Waber, and Reiner Strasser, where round puddles of water appear in the poem as the letter, “O” while the word “oh” is sounded by different voices as readers mouse over the “Os.”

Both terms are modeled after “onomatopoeia", a rhetorical strategy that associates sound with the textual representation of a word (e.g. bam/bam). It is a form of imagery indigenous to the digital medium and unable to be reproduced in print.