Interactive Poetry

version 2 by Michael Bacon

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  • Example: ** Arid and Pale (with varied punctuation) - A short interactive poem with punctuation varying depending on how much of the poem has been displayed.

        "Arid and Pale"

        Include Interactive Poetry by Michael Bacon.

        Table of Possible Lines (continued)
      Topic   line-number  Line   
      --   1  "Arid and pale"  
      "Arid"  2  "tan sandy dust"  
      "Pale"  2  "cracked skin[period or colon]"  
      "Tan"  3  "like her skin"  
      "Sandy"  3  "crunches soundlessly"  
      "Dust"  3  "whirls in a devil"  
      "Cracked"  3  "dried clay -"  
      "Skin"  3  "raw, bloody and dry -"  
      "Like"  4  "like her heart. [fin]"  
      "Her"  4  "dried after rain. [fín]"  
      "Skin"  4  "envelopes form. [fín]"  
      "Crunches"  4  "but not her bones. [fin]"  
      "Soundlessly"  4  "under her bare feet. [fin]"  
      "Whirls"  4  "so she squints. [fin]"  
      "Devil"  4  "as she prays. [fin]"  
      "Dried"  4  "she waits. [fin]"  
      "Clay"  4  "she cannot shape. [fin]"  
      "Raw"  4  "preparing a meal. [fin]"  
      "Bloody"  4  "sleeves discolored. [fin]"  
      "Dry"  4  "her eyes itch tearlessly. [fin]"   

    To allow a line's end punctuation to vary depending on what follows in the next line, punctuation choices have to be coded manually by the author like so:

        Remember punc is some text that varies. Remember punc is usually "".
        To say period or colon:
            if the current line is 3, change remember punc to "";
            if the current line is 4 begin;
                if the topic understood matches "skin", change remember punc to ":";
                if the topic understood matches "cracked", change remember punc to ". ";
            end if;
            say remember punc.

    Notice that "[period or colon]" appears in one of the possible versions of Line 2. "the current line" has already been advanced.

        Test me with "arid / tan / skin / credits / thank you".
        Test punctuation with "pale / skin / cracked / clay".