In 1992, author William Gibson released a book titled Agrippa (a book of the dead), which played from a 3½-inch diskette on a 1992-era Apple Macintosh computer running the System 7 OS. It was a poem that ran upscreen and whose text was programmed to disappear after its first reading, by way of a special encryption…
The iPad is the cruelest tablet, breeding bacteria out of its touchscreen, mixing photos and emails, stirring FaceTime grimaces with ringtones. Smart covers keep it warm, covering glass in vivid polyurethane, feeding you poetry with a new, amazingly literary app.
I can't resist whispered sonnets or hastily scribbled limericks, but how many guys actually memorize poems nowadays? At least there are apps like this one to help them fake the knowledge and romance with a quick flick of the wrist.
The recent Apple craze led John Markoff of the NY Times to contact Beat-era poet Gary Snyder and ask him to pen a poem reflecting on "the milestones of the digital age". The result is a delightful read.