Concrete poetry is an arrangement of linguistic elements in which the typographical effect is more important in conveying meaning than verbal significance. It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has now developed a distinct meaning of its own. Concrete poetry relates more to the visual than to the verbal arts although there is a considerable overlap in the kind of product to which it refers. Historically, however, concrete poetry has developed from a long tradition of shaped or patterned poems in which the words are arranged in such a way as to depict their subject.
Though the term ‘concrete poetry’ is modern, the idea of using letter arrangements to enhance the meaning of a poem is old. Such shaped poetry was popular in Greek Alexandria during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, although only the handful which were collected together in the Greek Anthology now survive. Examples include poems by Simmias of Rhodes in the shape of an egg, wings and a