Experimental Poetry 9


This experimental poem is like making a found poem from two (or more) poems, and indicating where all, or a subset, of words in the combined poem came from. In this example, I use colors to indicate where the words come from. Words from the first poem, Freeverse 122, are in blue, and words from the second poem, Freeverse 123, are in red.

Freeverse 122

the cold lake water
shivered icy
with frozen blankets

Freeverse 123

vents bubbled lava
from scalding steam
boiled heat waves

Freeverse 124

with scalding water lakes boiled frozen
vents bubbled cold steam blankets
from lava waves the icy heat shivered

The spreadsheet makes the combined poem, Freeverse 124, automatically by using the entered words from the first and second poem, the calculated lengths of words from the second poem, conditional formatting, and a Visual Basic macro to shuffle by random numbers, paste text, and do the coloring. Note that the first poem and second poem don't have to be so very different (cold/hot). I just used opposites because I thought it made the example even more clear. Nor does the combined poem have to use all the words found in the first and second poem; it could just use a subset.

Check out the spreadsheet and macro here. You are free to edit it as needed, but please credit Statisticool.com if you use this idea.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. After I wrote this article, I learned this might be a variation of what is called a "contrapuntal" poem.

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