Finders Keepers: Containing Multitudes

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By News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell. Send me your found poetry news.


“I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

When it comes to poetry generators, containing multitudes is a good thing. And House of Leaves of Grass proclaims to be boundless without actually being boundless. The site includes a detailed and technical explanation of the generation process (i.e. over my head), and here are the basics (i.e. the part that made sense to me):

The words and phrases in House of Leaves of Grass are drawn from two sources: the complete text of 1891-1892 “deathbed” edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1819-1892) and the complete text of House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Reading the tool’s output is both beautiful and temporary. As soon as you move your mouse or scroll or tap your keyboard, the stanza that you were previously admiring is gone and a new one is in its place. Happy reading!

Note: I humbly apologize to Walt Whitman for having to crop just a little bit of his beard in the image above.

 

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