distribution of words

The Tower – v2

the-tower

I am starting to write some tools to examine a draft of the tower.  That photo is an example of the  frequency distribution of words.  What does that picture look like for different poems? Good question.

Here are some common words in v2 of the tower.  N.B. I had to turn all the words into lower case to make this work. [(‘the’, 261), (‘i’, 221), (‘and’, 203), (‘a’, 142), (‘my’, 130), (‘to’, 124), (‘of’, 101), (‘her’, 100), (‘you’, 87), (‘in’, 85), (‘me’, 76), (‘is’, 75), (‘she’, 62), (‘your’, 56), (‘it’, 54), (‘?’, 54), (‘not’, 45), (‘what’, 43), (‘love’, 38), (‘with’, 37), (‘on’, 36), (‘we’, 35), (‘but’, 34), (‘are’, 32), (‘for’, 32), (‘that’, 32), (‘have’, 31), (‘or’, 29)]

Here are some uncommon words – ‘nice’: 1, ‘lore’: 1, ‘echos’: 1, ‘chorus’: 1, ‘chora’: 1, ‘corpus’: 1, ‘complement’: 1, ‘polyphonic’: 1, ‘syncopation’: 1, ‘melodic’: 1, ‘measure’: 1, ‘joined’: 1, ‘gregorian’: 1, ‘chat’: 1, ‘created’: 1, ‘chippewas’: 1, ‘yume’: 1, ‘indian’: 1, ‘warberler’: 1, ‘warbler’: 1, ‘skeleton’: 1, ‘scrum’: 1}

There are 1165 words used once. there are 1772 distinct words there are 5860 words total. Some of these uncommon words are banal (nice), most of the frequent words are copulas. I may run some other poems of similar length through this and see what pops up.

This stuff is pretty basic – but thought provoking and useful in editing. I am going to go through now and perhaps delete many if not all the most common words. I am going to look at the least common words and think about what sort of world they build. It is what I want.

I am thinking my next code jig will involve meter and rhythm.

I have posted the code on  https://github.com/msrobot0/.

The Tower

poetry, the-tower

Months ago I consulted the Tarot to help me determine what my next writing project ought to be.  I pulled the Tower. This is a frightening card.  It is a card of rupture and disruption. The interpretation that resonated with me, was that I should write about something that will forever change my life -that will provide a rupture. So I started working on a chapbook on eros and as it manifested in a particular period of my life.

I have transcribed all my journals, poems, and notecards related to this project into a Scrivner document and I’m now editing.

I feel like a painter and having just laid down the underwash of ultramarine blue I am now ready to mix my paints.

I have a few aesthetic goals here. First my experience of poetry is as world building, it is the rupture that creates or elucidates a new experience that other people can share and inhabit.  What do I value in poetry, and in my particular project on eros?

I identified

rhythm to create the topology of the world

metaphor as a method of creating new contexts and perspectives

language as a way to introduce surprise and to create new languages

lineage (not the perfect term) as a way to situate this piece as a dialogue with other creative works

There are many other things I could include here such as ideas, inventiveness, multimedia, and so forth but these 4 items are what I am focusing on. Truly focus on 1 would be enough.

As I am working through my material I am coming up with different processes (the scaffolding, jigs or apparatus) to help refine the work in each of these areas. This is coming in the form of traditional writing exercises, but also in the guise of creating computer program, and musical pieces. What other scaffolding can I use? Perhaps games or dance!  Part of my experience in writing this chap book is the process through which I am refining the material into a finished piece and what that means.  This is alchemy, a personal process as well as an external process.

Aside from the scaffolding, I am also reading a ton of poetry with an eye for these 4 aspects: rhythm, metaphor, language, lineage.   The first poet I took a deep dive was Lisa Roberson and I will probably write more about her in a future post.