POEMETRICS™

What is POEMETRICS™?

View this presentation to see it in action!


What you see here is still a work in progress. POEMETRICS™ will require lots of input from kids and kids’ poetry aficionados JUST LIKE YOU to design it right and ultimately to scale it to the point where we can start to do some really cool things.

For now, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section on my approach and on the variety of metrics used in the above presentation. Ignore the fact that the entire presentation is based on a sample of one (i.e., me); the idea is that any reader will eventually be able to share observations and opinions about the kids’ poetry books that they read. These “thoughts” can then be synthesized and displayed in a variety of unique ways — leading to insights, relationships, and activities that were never before possible, and opening a new path for kids to discover and explore the world of poetry. That’s the vision, anyways.

Also check out my more primitive POEMETRICS™ work here and here.

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  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    I was just browsing your old POEMETRICS posts and can’t wait to see how this year’s crop of poetry compares to last year’s.

  • Keri Collins Lewis

    Wow! I was very interested in your personal rating system for choosing which was your favorite. A lot of great analysis here! Thanks for creating Poemetrics, and for using Preszi — fun new approach to presentations.

  • Lois D

    I love this tool! Please continue your good work on it.

  • BJ Lee

    wow! You’ve put a lot of work into this, Ed! It’ll be interesting to see the results!

  • JLarios

    Well done, Ed! I love coming at it mathematically for technique and then factoring in the emotional component – your own favorites/recommendations. Keep going!

  • Violet N.

    A great exercise to help one go beyond a gut like or dislike of a poem. Ed, does all your analysis affect how you write/?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

      The analysis does not directly affect HOW I write. (It does affect how OFTEN I write, though!)

      I suppose it also does affect how I think about my future book(s). Again, not the individual poems — those just make their way out of me and become what they’re meant to be — but the mix and arrangement of poems together in a collection I think will certainly be affected.

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

    What do people think of the 2+3+4(+1) evaluation scale — the weights assigned to precision, personality, power (plus personal recommendation), respectively?

    This scale is going to underpin a lot of what I do, so I want to get it right before I go much further.

  • Doraine Bennett

    Let’s just say I was never a math person. ;) I am amazed at the incredible amount of work you have put into this!

  • Matt Forrest

    Wow, you really have been putting a lot of time into this, haven’t you? It’s an ingenious concept, bringing concrete, raw stats to something as abstract as poetry…and I think you’ve made a good case for how it’s all structured. The cool thing is that it can be applied to other creative disciplines, as well – you could create ArtMetrics, MovieMetrics, etc.!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

      Matt: “Shhhhhh!” Don’t give away the ending …

      (But thanks for the feedback!)

  • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Very interesting approach to reading and analyzing poetry– quantifying something that is largely a qualitative experience.

    I’m not sure I agree with your weights of the different components, though. Even if I agreed that personality and power are more important than precision, that’s my bias, not a universal truth. Wouldn’t it be more “fair” to weight each of those components equally, say up to 3 pts for each (+1 for personal recommendation) to allow for the fact that some readers might really get off on precision and not care as much for “powerful” poetry?

    Also, I think a lot is riding on who actually participates in this poemetric system. Seems to me, it will be more successful with analytical folks like yourself, and fewer compulsive folks (especially kids) who simply want a poem to have top marks, regardless of how precision, personality, and power are defined.

    I don’t mean to throw cold water on this Ed, I really like what you’re doing and look forward to watching it develop! Just wanted to give you some food for thought.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

      Thanks for the great feedback, Michelle. All feedback is good feedback — I’m seeking objectivity.

      My original scale was 3 points each for precision, personality, and power. I actually first rated the Shel books using that scale, so I had to go back and re-do it with precision capped at 2 and power upped to 4.

      The decision to change the scale was not made lightly. The more I thought about it, it came down to the level of nuance that exists within each variable. Precision, to me, turned out to be a very short rating spectrum — either it’s right (2), it’s mostly right (1), or it isn’t very precise (0). I didn’t think it made sense to offer a choice between “off” and “bad”. On the other hand, there’s a ton of nuance when it comes to a poem’s effect on a person, so I think the extended scale helps the power attribute.

      The total score — precision (2) + personality (3) + power (4) + personal reco (1) = 10 — to rate an entire poem (or an entire collection of poems) will be prominent, but by no means central to the entire system. And in terms of how the data will be used behind the scenes (vs. displayed), the individual attributes and component scores will be more useful in creating linkages between and among poets, books, and readers. In this way, Poemetrics is only a means to an end.