Measuring Up

This is by way of a reblog from John Spiers, whose posts don’t have a ‘Reblog’ button.

Click this link for the post from his blog which gives links to two websites: one to assess your poems and another to assess your song lyrics.

As those who follow my poetic efforts will be aware, I am not at all confident with anything of my own that doesn’t rhyme. (See But is it Poetry?) I can usually recognise the poesy in others’ blank or free verse but, without rhyme, I am never sure that my own efforts aren’t better described as prose.

Can an algorithm evaluate poetry?

The two sites John has found give a score depending on how well your poem (or lyric) compares to language used in certain recognised poetic or lyrical successes.

Scores above zero (maximum = 5) indicate that the poem is linguistically more like poems by ‘established’ poets such as those published in the Poetry Foundation’s ‘Poetry Magazine’ and Scribner’s ‘Best American Poetry’ series.

Scores below zero (minimum = -5) indicate that the poem is linguistically more like poems by poets who have not been published by mainstream establishment poetry publishers.

… which I thought was a tactful way of putting it. The lyric assessor gives a similar explanation once your song has been assessed.

The poem I’ve linked to in the second paragraph above (with a similar title to this post) achieved a negative assessment of -0.6, although others have scraped more positive scores.

My submission this month to the 12 poems in 12 months challenge at ran to two versions of, essentially, the same poem. The rhyming version scored better on poetry assessor than the free verse. (Although feedback from real people on the 12 poems site disagrees. Are they just being kind?)

Both versions will appear on here in due course for your opinion. I have bookmarked both ‘assessor’ sites and will ‘assess’ my next monthly effort before I post it.

I shall, of course, also be assessing some of the other poems from the challenge – just out of interest…

blank pages flying to book

Do you have website ‘tools’ to share?

– whether or not you believe in them…

21 thoughts on “Measuring Up

    1. When I have time I plan to try out a few poems I like from less traditional or well-known poets, such as winning entries in writing magazines. I think I might prefer to compare mine with their scores rather than aiming for high fives. And from Billy Collins – I’ve only recently discovered Billy Collins, but I suspect the language of the poets the algorithms are using for comparison isn’t the language he uses to build his poems.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. well done! My stand-up poems scored minuses, although I’ve managed up to 2.5 on one of the others (rhyming). I just dropped two of Billy Collins’ poems in there. ‘Forgetfulness’ scored 0.9 and ‘Introduction to Poetry’ scored -0.6, so I’m not taking it to heart.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an algorithm (or several) that assesses linguistic style rather than content. Your poetic language is scored against a selection of ‘published’ poets. The research paper it links to uses a nonsensical sentence to show how it works. I entered Billy Collins’ “The Breather” and it came back with a score of 1.3, which makes me feel better about my own samples. At least the rhyming one came back with a positive score. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s why I like rhyming – it’s like solving a puzzle when I find a rhyme that fits. Blank verse is more subjective. I’m trying to arouse a response in the reader without rhythm and rhyme to distract from my failure (gulp!).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you know Colleen Chesebro? She has a community of followers for her Challenge, Tanka Tuesday. She specialized in counting syllables like cinquain and haiku poetry. Another kind of poetry I enjoyed a few years ago was form poetry. You might have an ABAB CDCD rhyme pattern, but you added in repetitions of certain lines in a 15 line poem. Pantoum was one of them.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.