My apologies for the very late post: this week has been particularly difficult on my schedule.
Today’s offering is a very cool little search tool and writing aid: the Google Poetry Robot. First out in 2006 but consistently updated, this tool from Geoff Peters uses Google searches to suggest words for poems. You simply type in the line you’re stuck on, and the robot suggests a new word. Geoff offers a published example on the site:
Example poem “Here in Canada”:
Mooing is more than just Breathing.
Clucking is sooo out of date.
Laughing is Healthy and crying is ignored but why?
I believe breathing is illegal here in Canada.
Writing the right words is always welcomed graciously
but those who believe that human wisdom
can do away with nationalism and religious beliefs
are truly inspiring but severely deranged.
-Geoff Peters and the Google Poetry Robot, 2006
Published in the May 2006 issue of High
He even offers an example in French as a demonstration that the bot works in other languages.
Now, I’ve used this a few times to varying effect. I highly recommend it if you’re completely stuck and need suggestions on filling in just one or two words in your poem. For writing a whole poem, I’m not so sure.
By typing in “In Xanadu” I can get the first line of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan through a series of clicks, but not too far beyond that. In entering lines of my own invention, I found that after the six or seventh click my choice of words became very limited and/or the same two or three choices kept coming up.
Though this may not be a perfect tool for writing a complete poem, give Google Poetry Robot a try for those times when you just can’t find that word that’s on the tip of your pen. I guarantee it’s a lot faster than frantically flipping through the dictionary.