Murmurs, Open Corpus of Online Written Poetry – The End of Isolated Poems

Abstract (in English): 

Murmurs seeks to gather and link texts written with a poetic intention and available in the net in order to present them in a consistent form within the outline of a hypertext. These texts will be identified by an algorithm and interconnected through semantic links generated with the use of coincident words.

Thanks to this process, the texts with poetic format, already published online, will become a sole extensive and surfable piece that can be analyzed and can receive feedback from blogs, twits, and by any other indexable means. This way we seek to generate a piece of e-poetry by uniting those expressive texts in the net that cannot individually be classified as e-poetry. In order to achieve this we will use algorithmic processes, databases, crawlers for indexing, Big Data analysis, all presented as self-generated hypertexts.

The study of these texts through systems of computer linguistics will allow finding coincidences in the use of language with expressive intentions in the net. In a second moment, an API (application programming interface) will open and allow the free processing of the information gathered.

Murmurs dreams of waking up one day and finding an ocean of poems united by transparent threads of saliva through which we may roam from one brilliant moment encountered to another one especially felt by somebody in some corner of the net for you.

In this paper, we will address all the theoretical aspects of the project and the reasons for its implementation. Starting from the analysis of (1) the aesthetics of written poetry in digital format and the characteristics that make it possible to be analyzed through algorithms. After this we will review the way (2) the isolation of poetic texts in the net appears as a phenomenon that weakens their possibilities to be found by potential readers.

Later on, we will address (3) the text as a coinciding correlation which will open the doors for a solution out of the nature of the very poetic digital text, which in turn will allow us to consider (4) the “findability” as a new paradigm replacing the editorial distribution and (5) the relevance as the new utopia of the poetic text, thus allowing a better access to these text thanks to a unifying proposal. Finally, once we have achieved this we can present (6) the computation as a tool for the literary criticism of online poetic texts where we will see the implications of an articulate poetry corpus in digital format ready for the academic analysis.

The final aspect goes deep in (7) our proposal where we present the tools we will use, the key factors, the progress of the project up to the current moment, and the possibilities for cooperation in the community of developers. Musarañas is the prototype of Murmurs, created out of a database of the author’s poems, which allows us to test the basic functions such as the style of navigation, indexing, managing tools for tagging and the bunches of words necessary.

Currently, there is a functional prototype of the tagging system available at

(Source: ELO 2015 Conference Catalog)

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Hannah Ackermans