New Poem: Early Signs of Life (PLUS a POEMETRICS Sneak Preview)

Here is a poem that I wrote over four years ago to welcome my first nephew into the world, and I am recycling it here to welcome my second, who was just born this week.

As this week’s Poetry Friday host Sylvia Vardell would probably agree, it is never too early to introduce kids to poetry …

Early Signs of Life
By Ed DeCaria

In two weeks I’ve come very far,
Though life seems a little bizarre,
My head’s a bit floppy, my pants a bit soppy,
But everyone thinks I’m a star.

I’m prone to occasional fits,
Which cause an assiduous blitz,
But I’m always happy right after my nappy
Allows me to gather my wits.

I’m treated as if I’m a king,
But honestly, it ain’t no thing,
So I’ll just keep swingin’ and cryin’ and clingin’,
Who knows what tomorrow might bring?

© 2012 Ed DeCaria, All Rights Reserved

Speaking of introductions, I am nearly ready to formally introduce POEMETRICS™ to the world. I dabbled a bit following the Madness! 2012 poetry tournament earlier this year, but soon I’ll share my vision of how we can use statistics — seemingly the very opposite of poetry — to better understand the genre and readers’ attitudes toward it, and ultimately to get more high-quality poetry to be read by more kids around the world. I hope to involve many of you in the process from the beginning, because the sooner we start, the sooner we can analyze fun charts like this …

What is it? It is a heat map showing average poem ratings (on a base scale of 1-10 even though only 2-8 are shown) across the dual spectrums of “mood” (1 = serious vs. 5 = funny) and “topic” (1 = natural vs. 5 = extraordinary). The data is fake (well, sorta fake) for now, but will soon be all too real!

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  • Vikram Madan

    ‘Poetry Analytics’ is a fascinating idea. Look forward to seeing visualizations built of ‘real data’. (Lots of visualizations possible here – in addition to heat maps – depending on the type of numbers you might have…)

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Vikram. The idea is to “crowdsource” (and “kidsource”) the data, and then analyze it in all sorts of different ways, taking cues from other analytic worlds like baseball, consumer package goods, politics, stock markets, and more.

      I’ll present a variety of visualizations and tabular views and then seek feedback before I get too heavily into any coding, so everyone who visits TKT will have a chance to influence the product as it evolves.

  • Joy Acey

    A heat map for poetry
    Will the dyes be
    It looks like fun
    but when you are done
    will this baby be

    Great idea, keep up the great work, Ed.

  • Jeanne Poland

    Looks like a mother bird at a nest.
    Reminds me of graphing of chaos at MIT.
    Between David Harrison’s parody poems
    and your Poemetrics, there is never a dull day on line!
    Jeanne Poland

  • Katya

    I love charts and numbers so I’m really looking forward to the poemetrics.

  • Mary Lee

    Definitely a bird on a nest. Can’t wait to see what hatches.

  • Violet

    Your welcoming nephew poem? Warm my graph to yellow!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thank you Joy, Jeanne, Katya, Mary Lee, and Violet! I can’t wait to share more POEMETRICS so that you can all provide more direct input. Stay tuned!