Snowball (also called a Chaterism): A poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer. One of the constrained writing techniques utilised by the Oulipo (Workshop of Potential Literature).
Given the mathematical genesis of the Oulipo and the interest in the movement among other programmers, I thought that someone must have created a program to generate these, and I was surprised that I couldn’t find one even after some pretty thorough Googling. So I wrote one myself. The C++ code is here.
It takes input from a text file which contains novels from
Project Gutenberg, scans for word pairs where the second word is longer by one letter, and builds up a poem using Markov chains.
The poems in this post were all created by the program. They have not been edited.
I have made some major updates to this program, and there is now an executable that you can use to generate poems from your own text.
As of now, it spits out a new poem every few hours. It still needs to go through me to curate the output, so I’ve queued up enough for the next month. I’m working on making it fully automated, so that I won’t have to think about it. I would be very keen to hear anyone’s suggestions on how to do that.
Snowball poems are a form of concrete poetry where each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer.
The new code has many more features than the old. I’ll briefly detail the updates here. This is also my first ever Git repository, so I’m jolly pleased about that.
I go far, with faint candle, through profound stillness.
Make sure the input text is valid English by checking against a word list file. No more nitty-gritty amending of input text files. You can go to a website and just copy+paste all the text, and still get useful input.
Read more than one input file!
You don’t have to put all your text in one massive file anymore. Just save text files to a single folder, and it will read them all. Useful for reading that 26,890 file Project Gutenberg DVD.
Preprocess raw files!
No longer have to spend processing time scanning though raw text. The program will generate a file containing only the phrases that snowball upwards by one letter, and you can use that file as input when generating future poems. Useful because the first time you run it, that Gutenberg input takes an hour and forty minutes to process.
Have you found a snowballing phrase with quite a nice ring to it? You can give the program a seed phrase, like “strings quivered fearfully”, and poems will be generated based on that phrase. You can even specify many seed phrases at once, and it’ll generate poems from all of them.
Multi-key Markov chains!
While generating the poem, word by word, the program can now examine previously chosen words and use them in combination with the current word to select a more likely following word than if it had just used the one word.
Command line programmer friendly!Options to amend most program features and settings. Can take seed phrases from a file or stdin, write poems to files or directly to stdout, display verbose output, display no output, useful error messages, and more!
O, we are born fools, taking further progress elsewhere.
Growing snowballs only. For this update, I decided to concentrate on what I felt was the most interesting application of the code. So I got rid of the melting snowballs, and the random length word salad. It just wasn’t generating interesting output. The code’s still there on the Gist page, but I won’t be updating that anymore.
Windows 7 only, but only because I don’t have the capability to compile with other OSs. (OSes. OS’s?) The C++ code is up there, so you can try to get something working.
The poems in this post that are on a single line were created by the program over the course of the last 4 months. I have, however, added punctuation to some of them for readability; the program isn’t clever enough to do that. Yet. (And the gif at the top was made using Processing)
Twitterbot. Generated snowballs are uploaded to Twitter twice a day @SnowballPoetry.
I do not envy their lavish display. Whatever pleasures, demolishes.
Try it out now!
Go to the Quick Start section, download the Windows 7 program EXE and follow the instructions.
The Oulipo movement used constraints such as snowball poetry as a means of triggering ideas and inspiration. You might find it interesting to see what snowballs can be created from your blog posts, poetry, stories, journal, or even your tweets. The words you use have underlying patterns which have always been there; they just haven’t been brought out yet.
TEAR YOU APPART 8 IS AWESOME , SO MANY FEELS I CAN'T EVEN DECRIBE LIKE "OH MAN HOLY SHIT " CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHATER AND THE NEXT ONE AND ANOTHER ANOTHER ANOTHER ANOTHER
Anonymous said: OH MY GOSH PART 8 WAS INTENSE I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED TO HOBI AND TAE’S CRAZY AND I CAN’T HANDLE MY FEELINGS JUNGKOOK NEEDS HIS FATHER NOW I’M ALL OVER THE PLACE I GET SO EXCITED WHEN YOU UPDATE JUST SAYING IF YOU CAN’T TELL
Anonymous said: OMG THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING FOR TEAR YOU APART GMFU AHHH HELP
Anonymous said: I JUST LOVE TEAR YOU APART SO MUCH AND YOURE SUCH A GOOD WRITER AND I JUST ADMIRE YOU AND LOVE YOU K BYE
I love it when you guys scream at me omfg. Thanks a lot for reading!! I was a little scared about posting part 8 because of you know what but I’m glad no one has sued me yet lmao. Hope you all keep enjoying the story :’D
Here are my personal choices for this weeks top 10 comic book covers. These covers got my attention and whether being good or not deserve a moment of your viewing time, so here we go!
This week we have another Beauty cover hitting the list and I still find Jeremy Haun’s drawing style both haunting and hypnotic grabbing your attention and reeling you in. You can’t help but stare at it while feeling your skin slightly crawl with an uneasy feeling. Next Jeff Lemire drew a follow up Linewide variant cover from his earlier Linewide variant done for Harbinger (2012) #8. It’s a 1/125 retailer incentive variant that should be hard to come by but if you’re serious about getting one and money is no objects then the after markets are where you should be, try eBay. Now this next hip-hop variant for Carnage #4 really isn’t eye popping, rather it’s just odd. Deadpool poking him with a sword and then Carnage reacting in a childish scream? It definitely was eyecatching in the sense of raising an eyebrow to the sheer stupidity of the cover. Then again there are a lot of degenerate covers depicting Deadpool doing some indecent or insane gesture and to think, I’m a fan of the guy. Colder Toss The Bones unfortunately concludes this week with issue #5 and Juan Ferreyra again does a phenomenal job on translating the rather unique story telling style. I love Juan Ferreyra’s work and I hope to see him in many more upcoming comics in the near future.
This week we also see the new release of a new 4-part miniseries from Valiant Entertainment pleasantly called Faith. Faith was one of the founding members of team Renegade in Harbinger (2012) battling against the likes of Toyo Harada, head honcho of the Harbinger Foundation, Bloodshot, and others. First cover up for Faith was done by another impressive artist Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic. She is another favorite of mine whose work is simply breathtaking. The next Faith cover is a new approach to variant covers from Valiant mimicking a CGC 9.8 with some rather funny dialog coming from Faith. It looks like there will be a similar variant cover for each series line currently in release so check them out!
Monstress #3 by Sana Takeda had a tapestry of intrigate artwork providing a backdrop to cute realistic looking 2-tailed kitty and a fantasy style Fox-girl beautifully drawn to proportion. Mack Chater drew a realistic chin on that beautiful woman decked out in hardware. Cary Nord does a phenomenal job on the new Suicide Squad Most Wanted Deadshot Katana #1 variant cover. Again, I love that watercolor-esque style that’s applied to the color scheme of his drawing. Yes his drawing is amazing but so is that unique color style. Finally we come to a favorite artist of mine, when it comes to the Transformers. Andrew Griffith is an immensely entertaining artist whom submerges himself into the characters he draws and he’s able to do this consistently without fail. Review some of his work and he’s spot on seemingly never having a bad day when it comes to the characters he draws. It’s refreshing to see his talent outside of the Transformers universe though so thank you IDW Publishing for that!
So that’s this weeks top 10 most fascinating, eye catching, crazy looking comic book covers that I could find. If you see any rare variants that you plan on searching for then good luck and happy hunting!
Top 10 List (Alphabetical Order…)
Beauty #6 Jeremy Haun
Bloodshot Reborn #10 Incentive Jeff Lemire Valiant Linewide Variant
Carnage Vol 2 #4 Incentive Deadpool Variant
Colder Toss The Bones #5 Juan Ferreyra
Faith (Valiant Entertainment) #1 1st Ptg Regular Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic
Faith (Valiant Entertainment) #1 Variant Clayton Henry Valiant x CGC
Monstress #3 Sana Takeda
Six #3 Mack Chater
Suicide Squad Most Wanted Deadshot Katana #1 Cary Nord Variant
Ari began his theatrical “career” with classes at SPACE. In the 7th grade, he played King Arthur; in 8th grade he was in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which he played the role of Quince. In high school he participated in Choir, and hung out with the drama kids.
At Mendocino College he has been involved with productions ranging from The Music Man and Legally Blonde to Inherit the Wind. In addition to on stage roles, Ari has contributed to behind the scenes work as run crew. His other interests include fencing and music. He sings, and plays several musical instruments.
people keep sending in reviews for my Bleach fanfictions!! omg i feel so baaad. i havent talked about bleach in ages! i really want to give them a new chapter but im afraid i’ve forgotten all about bleach, i dont even follow the manga anymore!