can’t see the forest

This Blog Is Crap: A Mesostic

Posted in Poetry, Word Games by Curtis on 10/3/06

You may know that an acrostic is an arrangement whereby the first letters of lines of text can be read vertically as a message: L is for the way you look at me / O is for the only one I see / V is very, very extraordinary — and so on.

But what about a mesostic? That’s a similar arrangement, but the vertical message is embedded in the middle of the text instead of down the left side. John Cage, the American avant-garde composer, is credited with inventing the mesostic.

At this site you can feed in the message you’d like mesosticized (?) and input a URL, and the program will build your mesostics using (rather haphazardly, of course) text from that site. Here’s what it did with this blog, for the phrase “This blog is crap.” I asked it to produce the message five times:

  Tell
  Human
 spec Ies?
 blogger &nb Sp; tell
 
  Be
  Let
 y Our
  Guide laugh
 
 10/3/06 f Iled
 ha S
 
  Could
 fo R,
  And
  Posters”
 
 sec Tion,
 and muc H,
 ub Iquitous
 welcome S
 
  Brought
 va Lues
  Of
 hi Gh-tech
 
  Instant
 pedera Sty! by
 
 offi Ce
  Request.
 d Amaging
 go P
 
 has Tert
  Have
 attempt Ing
  So
 
  Be
 c Laim
 t O
 jud Ge
 
 ent Ire
 that’ S
 
  Cover
 p Retty. if
 pl Anning
 o Pinion,
 
 li Ttle
 w Hich
  Important
 agenda S
 
  Black
 mud-s Linging,
 issue-ign Oring,
 a Gainst
 
  I
  Say:
 
 ki Ck
 mo Re
  At
 it.    &nbs P; comments
 
 (2) globaliza Tion
  Has
 eye-open Ing
 uk’ S
 
  Breach
 contro Ls
  Over
 cummin Gs
 
 nat Ionalism
 wa S
 
 ameri Can
 painte R.
 c An
  Poets

I just thought that was great.

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