English: The Poem Tree, Wittenham Clumps, Oxfordshire. Photograph by Jonathan Bowen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I tried an app today on http://www.poetryassessor.com/poetry/
According to them, it “is designed to determine whether a poem has the characteristics of a professional poem or, alternatively, an amateur poem.”
I tested it using my poem below:
‘Rebirth‘ by Veronica Nkwocha
A dried branch,
tinder for fire
feeding the soil
A budding flower
A shrub of green
trembling with life
in the morning light
*It returned a score of 4.582! So I’m well pleased lol.
P.s. I’ve tried a few others and some haven’t done so well!
“Positive scores indicate that a poem has characteristics of a professional poem while negative scores indicate that the poem has the characteristics of an amateur poem.”
*Caveat, I know nothing about the creators or the suitability of the application neither was I asked by them to test it.
*Update: There’s an update on the site ” it should be noted that the average word count of the poems used in the sample used to calibrate the system was 156 (maximum 378, minimum 21, St Dev 77). This means that results for poems of less than approximately 80 words should be interpreted with caution.”
Transforming Your Corner of the Globe
By Veronica Nkwocha
A tall order; to literally transform the world into the thing of beauty most of us dream it to be in our hearts. Half the time, one despairs about the many problems and the difficulties in matching them to much needed solutions. The genius is in finding creative answers that will cause a child to walk lighter of the burden of being born into poverty, a mother to actually live through childbirth, access to advice on rights and obligations, medicine, food, water, safe shelters or for books that will light up the eyes of a curious child and the list goes on, endless.
This week, 1-7 June, 2013 is ‘Volunteers Week’ in England. Here’s an excerpt and a link from ‘Volunteering England’
“Every year, over 20 million people across England and the UK volunteer, donating more than 100 million hours to their communities every week. It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy. Services and initiatives that are vital to the running of our country simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for volunteers”.
It would be impossible to access much of the needed expertise and care were it not for individuals donating their time for causes dear to them. There are other benefits to volunteering; it is a ready source for those seeking work experience, it builds community cohesion and creates time tested channels for efficient solutions to some of the many socio-economic problems that would otherwise carry on unabated.
A robust culture of volunteering can help get us a step closer to seeing the world we dream about. It may not create the painting of our dreams but it would be a vital imprint on that blank canvass, every colour a worthy step towards creating that masterpiece.
*This is one of five posts on the Caine Prize for African Writing 2013 Shortlist. A group as organised by Aaron Bady will be blogging about the entries (one per week) for five weeks until the prize is announced on the 8th of July. Please see the links below for details and a schedule.
My Thoughts on ‘Foreign Aid’ by Pede Hollist
By Veronica Nkwocha
The story ‘Foreign Aid’ is about fissures caused by the uprooting of the principal character Balogun from Sierra Leone to America. The chasm widens with his long sojourn in his new home away from his roots where he had lived up until his mid-twenties.
The man we meet in America is one of many people, one of a crowd. We learn about his stay in a few paragraphs; he was generic, unobtrusive and inconsequential. The twenty years passed in a blur of the many things people like him did; coloured phone cards to call home, failed promises to his loved ones at home and furtive marriages for the all-important green card.
He “..submerged himself in inner-city America. He ﬂipped burgers, cleaned ofﬁce buildings, and worked security for cantankerous residents in a variety of elder-care facilities—pursuing the American dream, unskilled, undocumented, and with an accent…”
Even though life got in the way of his dreams, he still found his level like waters after escaping their hold. He didn’t get the Economics degree but he became documented, had a job and was driven in his goal to survive the ever changing urban jungle he had found himself in.
Balogun spoke clipped and fustian; adapting his language to a degree, to that of his inner city surroundings. A (more…)