Friday Writing Exercise 1 Comment

Friday Writing Exercise

Today’s writing exercise is about Google poetry. Remember how fun it was to cut up words from the newspaper and rearrange them into hilarious sentences when you were in primary school? Well, Google poetry is kind of like that – but instead of using scissors and paper all you need is the world famous search engine.

First, open up Google. Then type in a few words – even just one will suffice. Google will try and predict what you’re typing. The results are, more often than not, quite funny.

The creators of the blog Google Poetics write that:

The Google autocomplete suggestions are based on previous searches by actual people all around the world. In the cold blue glow of their computer screens, they ask “why am I alone” and “why do fat girls have high standards”. They wonder how to roll a joint and whether it is too early to say “I love you”. They seek information on ninjas, cannibals, and Rihanna, and sometimes they just ask “am I better off dead?”

Despite the seemingly open nature of Western society, forbidden questions and thoughts still remain. When faced with these issues, people do not reach out to one another, instead they turn to Google in the privacy of their own homes. The all-knowing search engine accepts and embraces these questions and tangles them with popular song lyrics, book titles and names of celebrities: often with hilarious results.

Obviously Google is not Shakespeare, Whitman or Dickinson – it can not illuminate the unknown. But it does reveal our inner workings, our fears and prejudices, secrets and shames, the hope and longing of a modern individual.

If you’d like to go further, take a line that you like from a Google poem and write a paragraph. There’s nothing stopping you from doing this again if you run out of steam. Experiment and have fun – the internet isn’t always out there to distract you from writing. It can help inspire you too.

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