Poetry Visualizations

By: Jeff Clark    Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008

Back in 2006 I wrote about Martin Wattenberg's work called The Shape of Song and how it illustrates the repetitive patterns in music using translucent arches that connect identical passages of notes. At the time I mused about doing something similar for text:

Perhaps poetry or lyrics from songs might have an interesting structure but I suspect most text data wouldn't have enough repetition at the token or word level for this idea to be fruitful.
I did eventually develop the idea into Document Arc Diagrams that uses similarity of vocabulary.

I just stumbled across Children's Poetry & Limerick Visualizations by Lee Byron which stems from Wattenberg's concept as well. Lee describes the image below with these words

The arcs represent rhyme, alliteration, homophone and repetition. Steps underneath the line represent rhythm. You can see these elements clearly represented in the classic childrens poem: "Hickory Dickory Dock".

Interesting work.


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