NAPO

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
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Macavity
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 6:49 am

The Tangled Branch will be running a NAPO forum (National Poetry Writing Month) if anyone is interested. Basically you write a poem a day for the month of April. No critique involved. It is on one of the hidden forums so you will need to become a member of the site.

https://www.tangledbranch.com/boards/index.php
jisbell00
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 8:36 am

Nice idea!

John
Macavity
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:11 am

Yes, I used to do NAPO with that group. I haven't done it for a few years, but may join them again this year.
jisbell00
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:13 am

:)

I spent about ten years writing a poem a day. It generated a lot of text. Somewhere between a quarter and half of it got kept in MS., for now, though it's all filed by year in the computer. I probably have 2,000 poems I've not discarded. Oh, I think it did make my ear better.

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John
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:19 am

This guy was quite prolific...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stafford_(poet)

Nearly 22, 000!
jisbell00
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Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:48 am

Now that is a lot of poetry. Some poets have fat collected works, some have thin ones. Different poets. But I'm happy to have improved my ear.

Cheers,
John
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CalebPerry
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Wed Mar 27, 2024 7:53 am

I'm reminded of what Judson Jerome said. (Jerome wrote a poetry column for Writer's Digest for 30+ years. He died in 1991.) He wrote about a woman who was proud to have written 4,000 poems, and Jerome wondered if it might not be better to write 25 outstanding poems than 4,000 mediocre poems. However, it has been my experience that very prolific poets often do manage to write 25 great poems (by the law of averages, if nothing else). When you are writing so much, some of those poems have got to be really good.
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jisbell00
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Wed Mar 27, 2024 11:20 am

There’s an argument that 25 great poems might be better than 4,000 great poems. Nobody wants to read 4,000 poems. But then, Shakespeare wrote a lot. I’d like at some point to do like Eliot, to pare - having half the MSS I now have. People can find my unpublished if they ever need it.

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John
ton321
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Sat Mar 30, 2024 1:52 am

By that logic a monkey on a typewriter will write the complete works of Shakespeare if given enough time.
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves
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CalebPerry
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Mon Apr 01, 2024 12:01 pm

ton321 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2024 1:52 am
By that logic a monkey on a typewriter will write the complete works of Shakespeare if given enough time.
Tony
I've heard that many times, but doubt it's true. We could put a hundred billion monkeys to work at a hundred billion typewriters, and I don't think even one of them would come up with a good poem.

Not that typewriters exist any more, of course. Smith-Corona, RIP.
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jisbell00
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Mon Apr 01, 2024 12:09 pm

It all depends what enough time means. Give the monkey infinite time and if it keeps tapping away, it will indeed write the complete works of Shakespeare. Infinite time is a long time, and that would then be enough time. But given a monkey's lifespan, one might assume that it would be long dead before writing a substantial paragraph.

So: give the monkey enough time might mean give it an infinite lifespan, or it might not. Hard to say really. And there's the crux.

I have a T-shirt with a typewriter on the back I enjoy wearing because it's a defunct technology. I assume it puzzles young people.

And finally: possibly a more interesting fact is that the complete works of Shakespeare in digital form take up about the space of a random three-minute single. Text does not require a lot of data.

Cheers,
John
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CalebPerry
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Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:33 pm

The point I'm trying to make is that I don't believe in chance.

I'm old enough to remember when owning a good typewriter filled me with pride, my favorite being the Olivetti Praxis (which turned out to be terrible to type on because of its small keys, but it looked wonderful). Now -- never having learned to drive, which means I'm not obsessed with cars -- my obsession is to own the best computer and monitor.
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