Boing Boing 

Jabberwocky in Nadsat


John-Lewis translated Jabberwocky into Nadsat, the synthetic Russified English dialect spoken by the protagonist of A Clockwork Orange, starting with "Twas dobby and the chellovecks—"

Read the rest

Tights with poetry


The View Text Etsy store sells custom tights emblazoned with poetry from the likes of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare (you can also get your own text on a pair). (via Geeky Merch)

Read the rest

Neil Gaiman reads Jabberwocky

It's a thank-you to the donors who took Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity over the $600K mark.

Read the rest

Limited edition vinyl: John Perry Barlow reads "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace"


EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow's visionary 1996 text A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace has stirred hearts since he penned it in 1996 -- and now you can own a beautiful recording Barlow reading it in his wonderful, gravelly voice.

Read the rest

*Copyright Redux*

A sestina for free culture by William Carleton, who writes that “the form itself, where the same six words are repeated in each
stanza, lends itself to the subject of copying and transformative use.”

Read the rest

Animated, candid Bukowski interviews

David sends us this video featuring "Candid conversations between writer Charles Bukowski, his wife, and his producer took place in Bukowski's home during the recording session for his classic Run With the Hunted in 1993. Here the outtakes are brought to life."

Charles Bukowski Uncensored

'The Mason Williams Reading Matter,' phenomenal poetry from 1969

Inside this plain covered, weathered old paperback is something that I think might approach late sixties period poetry perfection. I was shocked into a state of joyful awe when I first read The Mason Williams Reading Matter.

This is a stream-of-consciousness tour de force. Doodles, photographs, poems, anecdotes, short stories and odd items coat the pages of this mind-bendingly awesome work.

Read the rest

Edgar Allan Poe hoodie

Poe

Black Craft offers this excellent Edgar Allan Poe hoodie with a quote from his poem "A Dream Within A Dream" on the back.

High-rez scan of Poe's "Raven," illustrated by Dore


The Library of Congress's website hosts a high-resolution scan of a rare edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" illustrated by Gustave Doré. The title-page is at page 11, the list of illustrations is on page 14.

The illustrations are amazing, like no other illustrated Poe I've seen. I've collected my favorites below, and there are a lot of them -- honestly, it was impossible to choose.

Read the rest

Comic adaptation of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


Zack sez, "Cartoonist Julian Peters has posted nine pages of a new comic adapting the entire text of T.S. Eliot's paean to loneliness, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' The adaptation plays with literal versions of many of the things described in the poem, capturing its humor and poignance. Peters will be doing more pages based on feedback, so let him know if you enjoy this one."

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot (Thanks, Zack!)

Black Perl, a poem in perl 3

Black Perl is a famous 1990 poem written in the programming language perl, by its creator Larry Wall. It is both a poem and a program, and runs under perl 3.

Read the rest

Leaves of Glass: Breaking Bad’s Walt Whitman fixation, and 'Ozymandias' deconstructed

At Poetry Magazine, TV critic Kera Bolonik answers the questions, "how does Walter White compare to Walt Whitman? And what cynical commentary on our times, on humanity, does series creator Vince Gilligan make with this subversive pairing?"

Some snippets from her answers:

Read the rest

Lies I've Told My 3 Year Old Recently


If you want to have your guts ripped out through your eyeballs, have a look at "Lies I've Told My 3 Year Old Recently," a short, sweet poem by Raul Gutierrez (possibly this Raul Gutierrez, but I'd be grateful for correction if you know better) that has a barb buried in it. Here's how it starts:

Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.

My favorite line is: "If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky."

Update: That's the right Gutierrez; I've updated the link below to go to his site.

Lies I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently

(Image: Clouds, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from nirak's photostream)

Poe's The Raven as a studio exec's lament

Torgo's parody of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven is a particularly well-done example of the genre, which has many entrants (it's the Harlem Shake of poetry!):

Turning back, I saw them seated; feeling injured and defeated
I approached and wanly greeted them: "Sylvester! Ms. Lenore!
I sincerely hope you're thriving - had I known you were arriving
I'd have sent out for reviving frappuccinos from the store;
Frappuccinos, danish pastries, and spring water from the store -
Next time, why not call before?"

The actor sat there, massive, with his craggy face impassive,
And it seemed that I'd established neither good will nor rapport.
The signs were not propitious; I thought it certainly suspicious
That he came in train with vicious, feared and cynical Lenore -
Still I leaned across the table and began to speak - "Lenore-"
Quoth the agent: "Rambo IV!"

Coming soon: RIMBAUD - FIRST BLOOD (via Making Light)

Automated constrained poetry, made from Markov Chains and Project Gutenberg

A "Snowball" is a poem "in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer." Nossidge built an automated Snowball generator that uses Markov Chains, pulling text from Project Gutenberg. It's written in C++, with code on GitHub. The results are rather beautiful poems (these ones are "mostly Dickens"):

o
we
all
have
heard
people
believe
anything

i
am
the
dawn
light
before
anybody
expected
something
disorderly

i
am
the
very
great
change

Snowball (also called a Chaterism) (via Waxy)

Grendel as Grinch

Ross sez, "I was reading Thomas Meyer's great new translation of Beowulf when the annual showing of The Grinch came on. The potential for a mash-up overwhelmed me, and this is the result."

Every Scylding in Heorot liked mead a lot,
But Grendel the beast, roaring outside did not.

Grendel hated Scyldings, the whole Danish clan.,
Can I say why? I don’t think I can.

He spied on the Scyldings, he fumed and he wailed.,
He watched as in Heorot they drank mead and drank ale.

Grendel as Grinch

Lord Buckley meets Groucho Marx

Nothing says Christmas like jazz poetry, and nothing says jazz poetry like Lord Buckley's appearance on You Bet Your life. If you only watch one 10-minute video of a jazz poet trading quips with Groucho Marx this holiday season, make it this one. Bonus: a totally unsubstantiated comment on the YouTube page says that Buckley's partner is actor Amy Poehler's grandmother.

Lord Buckley / Groucho Marx

Lord Buckley recounts the life of Christ: The Nazz!

Boing Boing is committed to bringing you your annual portion of Lord Buckley's inspirational beat poetry. Earlier this month, I posted his version of "A Christmas Carol". Now, here's "The Nazz," Lord Buckley's indispensible biography of Jesus Christ. This is all the Christmas cheer anyone needs. With this alone, we could rebuild civilization from rubble.

Lord Buckley - The Nazz (Thanks, Iain!)

See also: Dig Infinity!, a biography of Lord Buckley

Lord Buckley's "Christmas Carol"

Patrick sez, "Lord Buckley was a comedian/storyteller who performed in the '50s. His version of A Christmas Carol is an utter delight."

Damned straight. Lord Buckley's a hero of mine, and this is him at his best. If this has you intrigued, try his version of The Raven, and Dig Infinity!, the indispensable biography of Lord Buckley.

William Shatner talks slam poetry app

It’s almost 10 PM in London and William Shatner is on the phone, sing-speaking the word “algorithm” to me, trying out various cadences. It feels a bit surreal.

Read the rest

An interpretation of "Fish's Night Song" poem from 1905


Above: Christian Morgenstern’s 1905 poem “Fish’s Night Song.”

Heinrich Plett in Literary Rhetoric, points out the obvious: “the referentiality of this isographemic configuration is polysemous.”

Fish's Night Song

Shakespearean Hokey Pokey


A bit of genius unsourced net.stuff: if Shakespeare wrote the Hokey Pokey. "The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt/Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about."

Update: And we have a source! It's from a "Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit "instructions" for something (anything), but written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry was The Hokey Pokey (as written by William Shakespeare)", "Written by Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls, Maryland, and submitted by Katherine St. John." - Thanks, princessalex!

Shakespeare Teaches the Hokey Pokey

Poem which uses all 100 Scrabble tiles


From the year 2000, Ben Engelsberg sez, "Mike Keith forumlated this brilliant poem using all 100 scrabble tiles for each of 6 verses in iambic pentameter."

A Scrabble-Tile Poem (Thanks, Ben!)

Robert Browning's "Sordello" was not received well

Please read Robert Browning's Sordello and let us know if you agree with the sentiments expressed below.

Screen Shot 2012 06 15 at 9 25 14 AMRobert Browning spent seven years composing Sordello, a 40,000-word narrative poem about strife between Guelphs and Ghibellines in 13th-century Italy. It was not received well.

Tennyson said, “There were only two lines in it that I understood, and they were both lies: ‘Who will may hear Sordello’s story told’ and ‘Who would has heard Sordello’s story told.’”

Thomas Carlyle wrote, “My wife has read through ‘Sordello’ without being able to make out whether ‘Sordello’ was a man, or a city, or a book.”

Douglas Jerrold opened the book while convalescing from an illness and began to fear that his mind had been destroyed. “O God, I AM an idiot!” he cried, sinking back onto the sofa. He pressed the book on his wife and sister; when Mrs. Jerrold said, “I don’t understand what this man means; it is gibberish,” her husband exclaimed, “Thank God, I am NOT an idiot!”


Futility Closet: A Glass Darkly

Step Gently Out: kid's poem illustrated with gorgeous macro-photo portraits of backyard bugs

Step Gently Out is children’s picture book in which poet Helen Frost’s verse accompanies the incredible garden insect photographs of artist/photographer Rick Lieder.

Read the rest

Pentametron

"With algorithms subtle and discrete, I seek iambic writings to retweet."

Nursery Rhyme Comics: Great comic illustrators do Mother Goose

FirstSecond’s new Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists is one of those rare parental treasures: a picture book that kids and parents can really enjoy together.

Read the rest

GOPokemon: an odd poetic quotation from Herman Cain

GOP candidate Herman Cain at last night's debate: ""A poet once said, 'life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it's never easy when there's so much on the line.'" That poet? The lyricist for the themesong to Pokémon: The Movie 2000, recorded by Ms Donna Summer. Who knew retrogamer chic was a Republican value?

The Mystery of Herman Cain and the Donna Summer Lyrics (via Reddit)

Choral work based on Robert Frost poem repurposed after copyright problems

Boing Boing pal Andrea James writes, "Interesting backstory. The original choral work "Sleep" was set to Robert Frost's 'Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.' Then came the legal tussle. Eric Whitacre explains..."

After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038. I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri ... to set new words to the music I had already written.
"So," Andrea writes, "Silvestri created a poem with the exact cadence of the Frost work. The result is this. I always love these kinds of crowdsourced art in response to these kinds of creative disputes!"

New Shel Silverstein book scheduled for September

A new Shel Silverstein book, Everything On It is coming this September; it's the first new Silverstein book since the posthumous publication of Runny Babbit in 2005. Not much info yet, but the publisher says, "With more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist and selected by his family from his archives, this collection will follow in the tradition and format of his acclaimed poetry classics."

Pre-order Everything On It

New Shel Silverstein Book Drops In September

(Thanks, Palka!)