Word cloud 13/05/2010

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bodkin
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Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Thu May 13, 2010 8:21 pm

Hi,

Does anybody fancy a regular exercise?

On another board I am on they have a 10-words exercise every week, and it is something to look forward to, and has spawned some of my better efforts.

How about a regular word-cloud exercise? They've been popular before...

If they catch on I can try posting them regularly, maybe weekly, or maybe fortnightly, if that seems more like the right spacing...

Anyway, if I am going to do it regularly I'll need some standard text, let's see:
--------------------
This is a word-cloud exercise. Click the link below to see the word-cloud (you will need Java working in your browser).

Study the cloud and try to find groups of words which inspire you to some sort of poem. You do not need to use every word. And you can adjust their exact forms if you like (run -> ran, train -> trained, horse -> horses etc)

Cloud

There is no end-date for the exercise.

Ian
Last edited by bodkin on Fri May 14, 2010 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Pauline » Fri May 14, 2010 12:43 pm

I have probably got this wrong, but I enjoyed myself playing about with the words.

Raised on warm milk and early nights
she drank the last of the dregs
from the cup of patience,
and breezed towards the
bright city lights in search of love.
Slathered in heavy make-up
and carefully chosen clothing
she looked far older than
sweet sixteen.
Fresh bright eyes gulped
in this new experience,
this different life.
Music from a nearby bar invited her
in from the cold night air.
Unimpressed by the wind-fractured
sixty-odd year old faces of the men,
she leant towards the bar
and ordered a pint of their finest brew.
The night was still young and the music good.
She drank more-bitter and her head was reeling.
Many drinks later she was seven sheets to the wind dancing slowly with an old sort.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Ros » Fri May 14, 2010 1:45 pm

This is great, Pauline, and just what I meant! I love the first line. Actually the first three lines. I like the rest as well, but really like those first three lines.

ROs
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Fri May 14, 2010 2:47 pm

This is a lively one Pauline.

I like the "cup of experience" and also the "carefully chosen clothing".

The image of bright eyes gulping is striking as well.

I wonder if you could have mixed-up the tenses and sentence structure a bit more? The repetition of past-tenses near the sentence starts: raised, slathered, gulped, invited -- gives a static feeling that is a bit at odds with the rapid movement of the rest of the poem.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Ros » Fri May 14, 2010 3:29 pm

Last cup


Love blew late, slower
than seven dark girls reeling,
drinking, phased by the waiting night,
its eyes a cold ghost
more bitter than the wind-fractured sheets,
sparser than innocence. Fresh dregs gather
at twilight, winding smiles that gulp and slather
toothless mouths round prodigals
already grown ancient, faded
by the hug and suck of city.


Ros
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by ray miller » Fri May 14, 2010 6:20 pm

Pauline. I like what you've written, enjoyed the ending most."bright eyes gulped" is good. Would be even better if you'd not referred to "bright city lights" earlier on!
Slathered is a great word. Would she be going off in search of love, though, at sweet sixteen? Maybe something more like the buzz or the craic, summat more unusual.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Fri May 14, 2010 6:49 pm

It's that one/many tomorrow
an unilluminable dichotomy
you know now the future has to be
but discern nothing of how
it will wind between the sand grains --

you may wash baby milk from your clothing

glimpse fair love, but blow it

find you already drank a heady brew too many

tick more-bitter seconds than the clock of life deserves

-- but however the screw-ball curves
you know you'll be dancing slower
even as experience guides your feet.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Pauline » Fri May 14, 2010 8:31 pm

Cheers Ros, Ian, and Ray.
Thank you for the encouraging feedback.
Much appreciated.
Ros, I will enjoy taking part in these exercises.
It's a great way for us to merge together, and close any gaps.
I'm glad you liked my attempt.
Ian, now that you have pointed out about using past tense at the start of each sentence,
I can see how this can effect the movement of the poem.
Points noted and taken on board.
Cheers Ray.
I know what you mean about "bright city lights" lol, but I thought that you had to use the words in the cloud.
Again, that is why I used the word "love."
After reading both Ros and Ian's poem,
which I thought were both a very clever play with the words,
I now see that you only need to pick certain words out
to prompt your poem.
I have enjoyed this little exercise, and look forward to the next.
In fact, I may have another go at this one,
seeing as it's on for two weeks.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Ros » Fri May 14, 2010 10:01 pm

Yes, I think the idea is just to pick the words that inspire you and add anything else you want. We'll leave the exercises here for a good while - it's just there will probably be a new one in a couple of weeks.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Fri May 14, 2010 10:02 pm

Just use the cloud for inspiration... I usually see groups of words that are begging to be make into phrases.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by ray miller » Fri May 14, 2010 10:15 pm

Ian. The exercise I enjoyed most a few months back was where you used the 10? words plucked from a Wendy Cope poem to use in a poem of your own. So did you just come up with those words from that poem yourself or is there something systematic about it? For me, I find a word cloud has too many words to choose from. I need a tighter structure. Man.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Ros » Fri May 14, 2010 10:24 pm

I was thinking of doing a series of 10 word poems as well. Just wanted to pace things a bit.
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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by Pauline » Sat May 15, 2010 3:34 pm

He stole her innocence,
and drank the dregs of her youth
after plying her with drink.
She stared into his cold hard eyes
and cried more bitter tears
for the tomorrows
she will recall this night.
Swaddled in guilt,
she blamed herself for wearing
sparse clothing and an easy smile.

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Sat May 15, 2010 8:33 pm

ray miller wrote:Ian. The exercise I enjoyed most a few months back was where you used the 10? words plucked from a Wendy Cope poem to use in a poem of your own. So did you just come up with those words from that poem yourself or is there something systematic about it? For me, I find a word cloud has too many words to choose from. I need a tighter structure. Man.
Actually I sometime make a cloud from the words in a 10 words exercise, if I don't get inspired straight away by the order they come in.

This was rather a lot of words, I actually just pasted in a poem I was working on to be quick.

I'm planning to be a little more selective in future, I think 15 - 30 words might be best for a cloud.

Although, like I said, we don't have to try and absorb the whole cloud... just focus on interesting clusters of words...

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Re: Word cloud 13/05/2010

Post by bodkin » Sun May 16, 2010 9:48 pm

Observer corpse

If she had a love affair
she blew it

certainly in later life ghosts
would chill her eyes for seconds
at a time

although what she had recalled
she never said

I could see the outline

I had no need to wait
for every faded full-stop.
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