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Loose change

Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:42 pm
by bodkin
(For reasons which will become apparent, this is an image. You need to click on it to see it all...)


Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:26 am
by brianedwards
I'll need to come back several times to absorb your words and comment (if necessary), but as for the experience of this poem I am bowled over completely.
Super stuff.


Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:05 am
by Mic
A poem that writes itself. This is amazing. And the words are good.


Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:08 pm
by calico
Wowee.I think I read it all. This becomes more like hearing a poem than reading it which I think is often to the poet's advantage. I love it, it's like a slide show.

Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:28 pm
by David
Damn. I was going to say Wow, but Megan already has. I have a bad habit of multi-tasking while reading here, wandering off to do something or other and coming back a little later, so I found it in mid-morph on my first return. It's dead good.

Will have to get myself a cup of coffee and settle down for the whole thing later.

Is this a game-changing moment, Ian? It is England 3 Hungary 6, Wembley 1953, or just a neat little gimmick? Not sure yet, but very impressed.



Re: Loose change

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:22 pm
by bodkin
Thanks all.

This was, as I am sure you realise, something of an experiment.

Brian -- the individual poems may well have some problems. It was very hard for me to edit the poems up front, knowing they were going into a totally experimental format. So there came a point I just had to go with what I had. OTOH I just watched it through again and I think I am reasonably pleased with the overall experience.

Thanks Mic and Calico, sounds like it is working quite well then...

David -- you have captured my thoughts exactly: gimmick vs. valid new format...

one serious limitation is it can never go into a book. Of course, if one were fanatical about it one could try and leverage that into a strength or novelty.

Thanks all,


Re: Loose change

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:03 pm
by k-j
bodkin wrote:one serious minor limitation is it can never go into a paper book
As they say on other forums, ftfy.

Wonderful stuff!

Re: Loose change

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:05 pm
by coffeedodger
I've never seen anything like this! It's brilliantly conceived and written and works on every level. AWESOME!! :shock:

Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:58 am
by brianedwards
I'd like to recommend this for Feature Ian. Any objections?


Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:26 am
by bodkin
Thanks k-j!

Thanks coffeedodger!!

That's fine by me Brian, and thanks!

Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:28 pm
by delph_ambi
I'm going to be the one mildly dissenting voice as regards this style of presentation. It only works if your computer's up to the job. Mine, apparently, is not. I wait forever for the page to turn. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. Often it simply whites out and that's that.

I can imagine it working absolutely fine on a latest generation e-book reader, but for your average clapped out old pc, it's problematic and frustrating.

What I've seen of the poem itself is very good.

Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:36 pm
by bodkin
Hi delph,

It shouldn't need a particularly high spec machine to view... It's quite a small animated GIF which is quite old-style technology wise...

It might work better for you in a different browser?


Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:16 pm
by bodkin
On the other hand I am having trouble viewing it more than once now...

Usually refreshing a web-page will restart an animated image...

Maybe some oddity with the php software?


Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:59 am
by calico

Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:04 am
by Basnik
Brilliant stuff, inspiring in its form and very readable and interesting in terms of content/s.

If this is a gimmick then keep up the gimmickry!


Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:09 pm
by BenJohnson
This touches on a particular interest of mine poetry using other media beyond the page or voice. Part of the interest is seeing how the media affects the poem. With the introduction of html it became possible to create a truely interactive poem where the reader determined the end result. The downside is again format, it is not possible to display on a forum (however it is possible to a degree on the printed page). The format here works well especially with the idea of change, two downsides the readers speed is predetermined by you, if they are a slow reader they will need to go back and start again or miss sections. It also makes it harder to critique since slow considered reading is out (unless you download the image and disassemble it in an image editing application). It is also set to run once and not repeat which means refreshing the whole page.

This is more than mere gimmick though, the content fits the format and makes use of a new media. Each media is as valid as the next and the Internet and GIF format have been around long enough to no longer be considered new-fangled.

As to the poem itself it would take me a several more page refreshes to get give a proper review, the section that struck me (maybe for obvious reasons) was the Plato's cave section, wasn't the whole point that the people in the cave were restricted to view only the wall and not go wandering off to check out the fire? Not a major point I admit :D

Good to see something new.

Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:17 pm
by bodkin
Hi all,

Calico - a geek is a nerd with marketable skills, right? Guilty, I'm afraid...

Thanks Rich! I guess the gimmick/non-gimmick angle will depend partly on whether I could do it again. Unfortunately I have a terrible aversion to repetition, so I will probably have to wait to find another angle which would still be fresh as an animated poem... Of course, there is still colour... If anybody wants to know how I did this, please ask. It's not complex, but there is a lot of attention to detail.

Ben -- I did start to look at an idea for a poem where the reader could click to get different drafts of different sections. But I only spent about half an hour and I couldn't make the scripting work immediately at that time.

The speed did give me a lot of pause. I didn't want it to be a blur, or for the reader to look away before the first change. This is 15 seconds "dwell time", which seems to work reasonably well, but you are quite right that it is inflexible.

Eventually, of course, it will track the reader's eyeballs, whereupon I will make it change only when you aren't looking :twisted:. Actually I was torn between this, and a poem with much longer delays, where there would be obviously weak parts, which would be mysteriously *GONE* when the critic scrolled back to check. A sort of meta-meta-poetry that, being not about a subject, or itself, but about its own critique.

You are quite right about Plato's cave, I knew somebody would call me on that one. I was playing a bit loose with him, throwing in a touch of the idea that minds can see (a bit) beyond the limitations of their bodies... but not too much, because that would be pseudo-mystical claptrap :-)

Thanks for such detailed thoughts!


Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:21 pm
by bodkin
Has no-one noticed the grammatical error?

It should be fewer leaves in the penultimate line.

Unfortunately editing one of this is a little more complex :(

Re: Loose change

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:28 pm
by John G

Love the way it writes and deletes itself.

That is all

Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:36 pm
by bodkin
Thank you John,

terse appreciation is just as nice :-)


Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:09 pm
by Ros
Such a pity we can't send this to the IBPC...

Re: Loose change

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:58 pm
by stuartryder
Yes very innovative, in some ways I wish I'd thought of it, although wouldn't know how to actually do it. In reality though, I'm afraid the sections morphed a little too quickly for me, I wasn't even able to read all of some bits, much less reflect on others. That kind of put me off.

Good standard to set for new presentations here though. Watch this space!!


Re: Loose change

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:49 am
by bodkin
I could turn the speed down a bit...

I dithered over how fast to make it, not wanting to blur off into the distance, but also not wanting people to look away before it changed.

I think there is a way to say "press a key" but that would be well lame (to my mind at least).

Although the original BBC micro, way back, came with a poem by Roger McGough called "Now press return" which did exactly that.

It is mentioned in his wikipedia entry...


Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:17 pm
by bodkin
If anybody is interested in how to do one of these, somebody was asking on another site, so I wrote it up here:

Re: Loose change

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:32 pm
by camus
I think it's great to attempt such things.

Personally though, when it comes to poetry and literature, I much prefer a static page or even a book! It's a nice little gimmick but hopefully will never catch on! I thought it detracted from what looks like an excellent poem, I couldn't tell, my eyes have gone all funny.

K (Luddite) Ludd