Wordle is “a toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide.” Words that appear more often are presented more prominently. The site will make word clouds from text that you provide or from urls or even from a del.icio.us user’s tags. It’s so pointless it almost becomes interesting.
What if some well-known American writers had become wordle poets? I fed six poems into the machine and accepted the default output (except in one case where I rejected a black background).
Watch out language poets, a new movement’s afoot.
1. “The Conqueror Worm,” a wordle poem by Edgar Allen Poe
2. “I Died for Beauty,” a wordle poem by Emily Dickinson
3. “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” a wordle poem by Wallace Stevens
4. “Howl,” a wordle poem by Allen Ginsberg
5. “A Form of Women,” a worlde poem by Robert Creeley
6. “Recalling A Sung Dynasty Landscape,” a wordle poem by Jane Hirshfield
There you have it — it’s clearly a movement!
To see the original forms of these poems you will have to paste the titles in your favorite search engine. Or — recalling the deathless words of Kenneth Rexroth Patchen, “People who say they like poetry but never buy any are cheap sons of bitches” — you could buy a book.