A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bad Poetry: Howl With Allen Ginsberg

For those faithful readers who had fun with last week's bad poetry, here's another random poetry generator, also brought to you by Chris Seidel.

This site will generate a "Howl." Howl, of course, is the 1956 poem by Allen Ginsberg, his most famous work and arguably the most famous poem produced by any of the beats. That's the one which begins
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix
I gave it the line "how do i love thee" and got this:

how do i love thee
the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy, who
blew and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they
were growing old and cried, who were burned alive in their lofts,
who coughed on the windows of the alchemy of the skull, who cowered
in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in
wastebaskets and listening who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine
in Paradise

Howl, it might be noted, is not as formless as it might appear at first glance. The poetic unit is the line, which is equivalent to one breath. I'd have to say, from the above example, that the random poetry generator doesn't have a firm grasp of this concept. But anyways, for anyone who'd like to experiment with it, here's the link:


(Chris Seidel, btw, has moved on to a real job and no longer maintains his deliciously nerdy site. Many links are broken, but at the time of this writing, the above is still working.)

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