Stick it on the fridge
November 27, 2004 3:52 AM   Subscribe

I've often looked at Magnetic Poetry in gift shops and thought, "There's no way I'm paying that much." Fortunately, there's a free alternative, albeit a digital one. (Includes a bookmarklet that allows you to pull a word set from any webpage, and the option to save your masterpiece to show your friends.)
posted by robcorr (25 comments total)
Dunno. Have two sets, Sci Fi and Romance, that were gifts.

Makes for interesting poetry though.

I might just mirror that though.

Thanks for the link!
posted by Samizdata at 4:14 AM on November 27, 2004

Wow, I overused "though" there, though...
posted by Samizdata at 4:15 AM on November 27, 2004

There've been quite a few of those lurking about the web in recent years , including but not limited to more specific ones, like Yiddish and Girl Power! Magnetic Poetry things.

The results are usually pretty interesting--forcing you to face the limitations of available vocabulary and manage to assert some level of creativity, nonetheless. (Hopefully)
posted by ThePrawn at 4:51 AM on November 27, 2004

Although I've seen quite a few of these, this is probably the best one. Thanks. I particulary like the ability to add words from webpages.

Metafilter front page poetry, anyone?
posted by jzed at 5:01 AM on November 27, 2004

Actually, ThePrawn, you aren't limited by the available vocabulary. Any online dictionary or a google search will net you any word you want. I do agree that limitations can be educational for creativity. When I was studying poetry my professor would manadate different forms (villanelle or whatever) which really did make some of us better poets. It's like a forced third person observation of ones own art. If that makes any sense.
posted by Eekacat at 5:16 AM on November 27, 2004

Okay, I like the Metafilter front page poetry. Here's mine:

9:21 faceless comments

(I call this one "Tinfoil Leviathan")
posted by taz at 5:33 AM on November 27, 2004

I bought a couple sets of those and hung a whiteboard in the toilet. Instant party fun. I got the idea from an aunt who put a guestbook in her toilet.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:26 AM on November 27, 2004

Wasn't magnetic poetry one of the first dozen or so Java applets on the 'net? Now DHTML, bookmarklets, etc. It's good to see innovation is alive and well on web. Imagine 10 more years from now... Virtual Reality magnetic poetry!
posted by stp123 at 7:09 AM on November 27, 2004

There's a good multiplayer online game based on magnetic poetry at Psychobabble.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:25 AM on November 27, 2004

Imagine, any minute now, stp123... Naked magnetic poetry! "XXX MagneticPoetry Sluts!!!"
posted by taz at 7:28 AM on November 27, 2004

I dunno...there's something about standing in the kitchen with a lover making dirty poetry that just doesn't translate to the computer screen. YMMV.
posted by PossumCowboy at 7:36 AM on November 27, 2004

Confinement is good. On the other hand, a person could say it’s a waste of time, like when a person spends five minutes looking for a simple personal pronoun and a person finally realizes it's not there.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:30 AM on November 27, 2004

I dunno... seems to draw a picture for me ;c)

of course, you and your lover aren't in it...
posted by kamylyon at 8:33 AM on November 27, 2004

Much great poetry comes from limitation. Poets (especially those of centuries before this one) working within the strict form of a sonnet, sestina, or blank verse were forced to think even more creatively (and break even more rules) than the celebrated free-verse writers of the 20th century, in order to create artistic sense from the limited choices available within the structure. Try writing a good sonnet yourself; it immediately becomes obvious that it's a far greater challenge than writing a good fourteen lines of free verse. The limitations of magnetic poetry sometimes work that way, too, to wonderful effect.

posted by Miko at 8:36 AM on November 27, 2004

I tried to buy magnetic poetry once, but my credit card wouldn't scan. Never did figure out why.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:15 AM on November 27, 2004

rickety hometown morning
flashing waitresses whoring mountaintops
in a million moviehouses

ecstatic buttocks
sweetened innumerable trembling alleys

memories of denver backyards
and snatches of roadside barns
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:28 AM on November 27, 2004


a sunset adonis
with petticoat vision
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:31 AM on November 27, 2004

Taut bosoms are the acme of ersatz beauty.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 10:05 AM on November 27, 2004

Cunning peasants
torment bawdy wenches
with mellifluous admonitions.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 10:14 AM on November 27, 2004

A few years ago I made a bunch of sets of magnetic words for friends as gifts. I started with a base set of words, and added a subset of customized words for each friend. It was slightly more fun having really weird words, inside jokes, pet names, geek words, etc.

Didn't take much more effort than a laser printer, self adhesive magnetic backing from a craft store, and some scissors. (uh, and some patience). I think the ones you buy in the store may be laminated, but my laser printer ones lasted far longer than my interest anyway.

I ended up with a massive set, but they were a real PITA to get off the fridge when I moved.
posted by Larzarus at 10:35 AM on November 27, 2004

Let's not forget The Magnetic War Rhetoric Kit.
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:03 PM on November 27, 2004

All the words in this virtual kit ("nonsense" wordset) came from Edward Lear's The Jumblies, in case anyone's interested.
posted by Dukebloo at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2004

posted by DrJohnEvans at 5:13 PM on November 27, 2004

I used to post a magnetic poem every morning. Then they came out with the first "Online Magnetic Poetry" and my practice of posting them waned a bit and then halted altogether.

I love magnetic poetry and I think I will start posting them again.

(Oh, do not waste your time going to my site to try and find any of the old magnetic poetry, I just reopened erraticfrog a few months ago and my *distant past* archives are not online at this time. Just saving you a few clicks, if you were so inclined.)
posted by erratic frog at 1:13 AM on November 28, 2004

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