25. Johann Leonhard Frisch. "Bär," also called "Berlin Bear," 1700.
Published here in: Giuseppe Morrocchi. Scrittura visuale: Ricerche ed esperienze nelle avanguardie letterarie. Messina / Firenze: G. D'Anna, 1978. First edition.
Davis Library.

German author Johann Frisch was so incensed by the seventeenth-century craze for shaped poetry that he wrote a play attacking it (among other cultural tropes) entitled Schulspiel von der Unsauberkeit der falschen Dicht- und Reimkunst [Dramatization of the Impurity of the False Poetry and Rhyme]. It is ironic in the highest degree, then, that he is best remembered for three shaped poems of his own: an altar bearing a flaming heart, a crown, and this, the so-called "Berlin Bear." While he may have hoped to draw attention to an inherent silliness in shaping a poem like a bear, the subtlety was evidently lost on the many readers who made it his most popular work.

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