the words we use
June 1, 2016
We all have quirks of syntax and vocabulary that distinguish our writing. We have words that recur in our poetry, suggesting themes or simply the linguistic equivalent of comfortable slippers. Joanne Jeffries and Julian Yanover analyzed their database of more than 35,000 poems, looking for the words most used by individual poets and by classic and contemporary poets. From the results, they offer a series of word clouds with mouse-over sliding images for nine poets and for classic vs. contemporary. They’ve posted “Poetic WordClouds: These are the most common words in Poetry” on My Poetic Side, which has no “About” page but seems to be an online poetry community. Enjoy!
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Langston Hughes wordcloud
Thanks to Susan Chase-Foster for the heads up!