Friday, April 18, 2008

Watershed or writing shed: The Mahabharata of spam









“The World’s Longest Poem," which isn't actually the world's longest poem, is being written right now while you're wasting time surfing the net instead of working. As Izzy Grinspan explains:

"... a robot-human consortium is hard at work composing a verse epic on the Internet. “The World’s Longest Poem” is hosted on Benrik, a Web site run by British authors Ben Carey and Henrik Delehag, and is being written via a truly democratic process: anyone with access to the Internet can add a line of up to 60 characters."

The other way to go about it is the old-fashioned Dylan Thomas method: confinement in the "writing shed" - as his wife, Caitlin, remarked:

"When I think of that concentrated muttering and mumbling and intoning, the realms of discarded lists of rhyming words, the innumerable repetitions and revisions and how at the end of an intensive five hour stretch (from 2-7) prompt as clockwork, Dylan would come out very pleased with himself saying, he had done a good days work, and present me proudly with one or two or three perhaps fiercely belaboured lines."

All a question of how you want to belabor your verse...

2 comments:

david lumsden said...

"The World's Longest Poem" is a depressingly realistic snapshot of the internet; one nice touch is the often repeated iambic trimeter refrain 'Viagra pills online'.

equivocal said...

"The World's Longest Poem" seems a great way to develop flarf into an effective torture device. They must already be playing this at covert holding facilities around the world...