In case you haven’t seen it already, Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy has written a hilarious poem in rhyming couplets called “The ABCs of Skepticism”. Jonathan Swift, eat your heart out!
In this week’s Five, I wanted to focus on poetry tools instead of poetry databases. The sites I’ve listed are excellent resources for helping writers, readers, and teachers to deal with complex poetic issues.
A little known off-shoot of the vast Wikipedia project, Wikisaurus is one of the best online thesauri out there. I’ve got nothing against Roget’s, but the interactive nature of a wiki fits the idea of a thesaurus perfectly. It’s like asking thousands of your closest friends, “What another word for…?”
Wordle is a great site for creating “word clouds” out of your own text. This can be great for spicing up an otherwise serious topic. A friend of mine used a cloud from Wordle as a title page for her project on literary freedom in Iran. Also I think that it’s important for poets to never forget that although we deal in words, much of our art is visual in some ways. Plus, this tool is just plain fun to use! Here’s a really great anonymous one about Spring:
3. Poetry Forge
Above is a picture of a a great flash poetry tool for metaphor, but Poetry Forge is chock full of a variety of resources for both students and teachers. Run by the University of Virginia, this site is well-maintained and straightforward: perfect for when you start to feel bogged down by poetic challenges.
Not to be confused with last week’s excellent readwritepoem, this site is a fantastic reading and writing guide from the International Reading Association. Geared specifically toward education and making poetry work for teachers and students in and out of the classroom, this site is recommended especially for those of you who instruct poetry in some way.
Alright, so I’ll admit that this site doesn’t fit with today’s theme, but it fit with last Monday’s post, and I can’t go another week without mentioning it. This pretty amazing project is part of the makeliterature.com network, a social website that offers itself up as a self-publishing medium. With your own makeliterature account, you can submit haiku to the twiHaiku site by simply typing it into the right box, just like tweeting yourself. Your haiku is then displayed on the @twiHaiku Twitter account. What this creates is a network of dedicated haiku poets who collaborate to provide the Twitter community with a steady stream of original poetry. If you can’t already tell, I’m simply brimming with excitement about this project, and watching it grow has been great fun!