a Remix MiniQuest

Choose a poem. Any source is fair game. There are plenty of poems online; just google poetry or list of poems or old poetry and you'll be swimming in the stuff. This experiment will probably work best if it's a poem you don't like, and it's pretty short. Copy it into a draft or your favorite text editor. Then play with it:

   Add a word = 1 point
Remove a word = 1 point

Links and capitalization and punctuation changes are free. This includes linebreaks, but the order of words must be preserved. Of course, you can remove words from one place and add them somewhere else, but it will cost points.

If you want to get fancy, strike out words you remove (<s> tag), and bold words you add (<b> tag). If you don't do this formatting, please include or link to the original poem, otherwise I might not be able to score yours. If you have any trouble or questions, share a draft with me and send me a /msg about it.

At the end you should have a poem which you like. Post it in this node. Be sure to name the original author/source.

Your score is (upvotes + 3 * chings) * (number of words in original poem) / points. This formula favors a light hand---you are rewarded for successfully transforming a poem using only a few changes, but not penalized for doing more edits to a longer piece. The minimum change required is the addition of a single word; I won't have any division by zero on my watch. You don't need to calculate this yourself.


Here is my humble example, which uses 60 points worth of edits (27 additions + 33 removals) on a piece originally of 124 words. Thus the score would be (upvotes + 3 * chings) * 2.067.

"I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You" by Pablo Neruda
(English translation, from poemhunter.com)

I do not love you at thirty thousand feet. except because I love you
I go down the mountain away from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you---
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I
The wind comes right through the tent, Love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you I storm into town,
Bend to you and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see rivers of your blood. you but love you blindly

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love in a roadside pool because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.


The numbers as of Mon, 09 Jan 2012 22:45 GMT:

noderscore+C!factororig.
words
pointsaddrem
moeyz43.20094.800144301515
mauler37.474123.123178572631
Zephronias32.250112.932129442321
IWhoSawTheFace28.778142.056111542727
Serjeant's Muse26.185141.870101543024
fool4luv23.273161.45580552827
StuartO)))20.5561111.4681851266066
Eniteris5.78622.8931082374196178
"Ozymandias," by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller Dabbler from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand strand,
Half sunkOf junk, a shattered visage lies scattered image cries, whose frown brown,
And wrinkled lip pickled tip, and sneer smear of cold command cream and,
Tell Smell that its sculptor doctor well those passions symptoms read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them sneezed phlegm and the heart that fed bled.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias Homeopathic Ass, king of kings schwings:
Look on my works warts, ye Mighty Blighted, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal disheveled wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands Levenshtein plains stretch far away.'

Number of original words:  14*8+(0+1+1+0+0+0+0+2-1-1+0-2-1+0) = 111
Number of points: 55
Scaling Ratio:    111/55 = 2.018
Score:            2.018⋅(upvotes + 3⋅chings)

"A Poison Tree", by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe sweet:
I told it not, my wrath did grow heat.

And I watered tempered it in fears,
Night and morning with my cool tears;
And I sunned hardened it with smiles,
And with soft cold deceitful wiles.

And it grew burned both day and night,
Till it bore forth an apple a dagger - bright spite.
And my foe sweet beheld it its glimmer shine.
And he she knew that it our fate was mine dimmer,

And into my garden stole She set to bury with a spade
The knife when the night had veiled the pole glade;
In the morning glad heart-wrenched I see
My foe sweet, outstretched, beneath the tree.

Content: 101 words
Added words: 30
Struck words: 24
Points: 54
Score multiplier: 1.870

"Trees" by Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see be
A poem poet, lovely as a tree and oh so free.

A tree poet whose hungry mouth tender hand is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing my own swift-beating breast;

A tree child of nature that looks at God all day who plays all day,
And lifts her leafy hippie arms to pray sway;

A tree poet that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are not made by fools like me,
But only As plainly you and God can make a tree see.

Original word count: 80
Number of words added: 29
Number of words stricken out: 27

SHOULD LANTERNS SHINE by Dylan Thomas from The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas 1934-1952

Original Edited

Should lanterns shine, the holy face,
Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
Would wither up, and any boy of love
Look twice before he fell from grace.
The features in their private dark
Are formed of flesh, but let the false day come
And from her lips the faded pigments fall,
The mummy cloths expose an ancient breast.

I have been told to reason by the heart,
But heart, like head, leads helplessly;
I have been told to reason by the pulse,
And, when it quickens, alter the actions' pace
Till field and roof lie level and the same
So fast I move defying time, the quiet gentleman
Whose beard wags in Egyptian wind.

I have heard many years of telling,
And many years should see some change.

The ball I threw while playing in the park
Has not yet reached the ground.

Should lanterns shine, the shy face,
Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
Would wither up, and any boy of love
Look twice before he fell from grace.
The questions in their private dark
Are formed of flesh, but let the false day come
And from her lips the faded pigments fall,
The mummy cloths expose an ancient doom.

I have been told to reason by the heart,
But heart, like head, leads helplessly;
I have been told to reason by the pulse,
And, when it quickens, alter the author's words
Till life and death lie level and the same
So fast I move defying time, the quiet gentleman
Whose curse hides in Egyptian wind
.

Pyramids have heard many years of sorrow,
And many years should see some change.

The torch I dropped while playing in the sands
Has not yet reached the seas.

Jingle Bells!


by James Lord Pierpont

Snorting lines of Dashing through the snow
In a stolen Chevrolet one-horse open sleigh
O'er the hills we go
Laughing all the way
Eating chicken wings Bells on bobtail ring
Drinking Miller Lite Making spirits bright
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A Slayer sleighing song tonight

|: chorus :|
Jingle bells, shotgun shells jingle bells
Dead rabbits Jingle all the way
O what joy it is to drive ride
In a stolen Chevrolet one-horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a drive ride
And soon Fat Miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side
The seats were horse was stained lean and rank lank
Misfortune seemed our his lot
We He thought that we would rob a got into a drifted bank
And we got locked up upsot

|: chorus :|

A day or two ago
The story I must tell
I went out to score some on the snow
And smoking crack on my back I fell
A pimp gent was cruising riding by
In a stolen Chevrolet one-horse open sleigh
He laughed as there I sprawling lie
But quickly drove away

|: chorus :|

Now cocaine the ground is white
Go sell it while you're young
Fuck Take them hoes girls tonight
And crank sing a Slayer this sleighing song
Just get yourself laid a bobtailed bay
Two fortys is all you need is his speed
Steal yourself a Chevrolet Hitch him to an open sleigh
Smoke And crack! You'll take the lead

|: chorus :|

"Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers


Well where oh where can my zombie baby be?
The Zombie Lord took her away from me!
She's gone to zombie so I've got to be food
So I can see my baby when she eats my brain

We were out on a date in my daddy's car
We hadn't driven very far
There in the road straight ahead
A car was stalled, and swarmed by undead
I couldn't stop so I swerved to the right
I'll never forget the sound that night
The toneless moans, the busting glass
The painful scream that I heard last

Well where oh where can my zombie baby be?
The Zombie Lord took her away from me!
She's gone to zombie so I've got to be food
So I can see my baby when she eats my brain

Well when I woke up the rain was pouring down
There were zombies standing all around
Something sharp ripping open my head
But somehow I had found my baby again
She raised her head, and she snarled and said
"Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!"
I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss
I found the love that I knew I would miss
But now I'm gone even though I hold her tight
I lost my brain, my life that night

Well where oh where can my zombie baby be?
The Zombie Lord took her away from me!
She's gone to zombie so I've got to be food
So I can see my baby when she eats my brain

"The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary daybreak bleary, while I pondered weak worn and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered gathered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak a warm December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow I have been anticipating; - vainly I had sought to borrow thought in getting
From my books surcease of sorrow freedom from fretting- sorrow fretting for the lost I will wed Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore Today until forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more Framed in sunlight was Lenore.

Deep into that darkness peering bright face blazing, long I stood there wondering, fearing gazing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken,-and the darkness gave no token she too had been early woken,-
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!.'
Merely this Just myself and nothing no one more.’

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me us see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven dove of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony ivory bird beguiling my sad fancy soft sweetheart into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven worn thin, thou,' I said she laughed, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim Lustrous white and ancient raven peaceful dove in wandering from the nightly sunlit shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian daylight’s Jovian shore!'
Quoth the raven dove, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

Much I we marvelled this ungainly pureplainly sure,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore Forevermore.'

But the raven dove then, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered spoke as my heart fluttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he Promise you will never leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy most graceful master whom unmerciful disaster advantages of better
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden blessedness bore -
Till the dirges songs of his hope that melancholy burden eternal blessedness bore
Of "Never-nevermore Forever-evermore."'

But the raven dove was still beguiling all my sad snug soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I we both betook myself ourselves to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous graceful bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt great, unghastly, gentle, good, and ominous graceful bird of yore
Meant in croaking singing `Nevermore Forevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery flawless eyes now burned stared into my bosom's psyche’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore forevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch Bird,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee!’
Respite - respite and nepenthe Blessings - blessings do thee bring from thy memories of Lenore! God we adore?
Quaff Speak, oh quaff this kind nepenthe speak you kindly, and forget tell me this’ lost long asked Lenore!'
Quoth the raven dove, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I she, `thing of evil virtue! - prophet still, if bird or devil on statue! -
Whether tempter Creator sent, or whether tempest chance tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate Quiet, yet and all undaunted unvanted, on this desert beautious land enchanted -
On this welcome home by horror haunted much wanted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead Will we - will we be forever? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven dove, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I she, `thing of evil virtue! - prophet still, if bird or devil on statue! -
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul theses souls with sorrow rapture laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp One shall bless a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant Bless the knot ‘tween self and maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven dove, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting rejoicing, bird or fiend God!’ I shrieked upstarting cried voicing-
`Get thee back into the tempest heavens and the Night's Plutonian to God’s high Kingdom’s shore!
Leave no black plume as a Thank your God for such a token of that lie which thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken our joyous forms here, softspoken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, We are true to both our hearts; and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven dove, `Nevermore Forevermore.'

And the raven, dove is never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid polished bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's seraph’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on light onto the floor;
And my soul life from out in that shadow light that lies there floating on the floor
Shall be lifted stay there - Nevermore forevermore!

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