My friend Charley is teaching contemporary British poetry this semester and sent me this link to a new mediated version of Paul Muldoon’s poem “A Collegelands Catechism”. What you get, if you get past the forced Flash intro from the Princeton courseware (and thank you, Princeton, for making this publically accessible, we do appreciate it), is Paul Muldoon reading his poem with a Flash animation showing the words of the poem. Afterwards, you get to see the text of the whole of the poem, with extra information and glosses. There’s something about seeing this that makes me want to think something I can’t quite get at. I mean, look at Thom Swiss and Skye Giordano’s Genius (sorry, won’t work with my Mac anymore, I think it’s the browser, but it works fine on most PCs I’ve tried). The author’s voice reads a poem, a Flash animation shows the words and there’s music and images and these elements all speak to each other, they mean more than their individual parts. So is the Princeton version of the Paul Muldoon poem a (fairly simple, but perhaps sufficient) adaptation of a traditional poem into a new media genre that’s becoming conventional? Conventional enough that Princeton Courseware adopts it? Does the Muldoon poem become electronic writing when animated? I’m sure there’s some point to be made here but I can’t quite make it.