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Deforming Spenser

Stephen Pentecost and J. R. Ladd, both of the Digital Humanities Lab at Washington University in St. Louis, offer a pair of digital experiments with Spenser’s poetry.

1. The Mutable Stanzas is a digital poetry installation and deformance experiment inspired by Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes and by the work by Jerome McGann et al on “Deformance and Interpretation.”

2.  Endless Monument is a Twitter bot—a short piece of code that updates Twitter automatically, to tweet lines of the Epthalmion according to Spenser’s own time arrangement embedded in the 24-stanza, 365-long-line structure.

The bot tweets one line of the poem each day (assuming the poem starts on March 1st), with the time of day changing based on how far along we are in the poem. It also accounts for sidereal time, and replies to Twitter users with the correct line for the current time in their location.
A more detailed explanation of what it does and how it works can be found here.


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Cite as:

"Deforming Spenser," Spenser Review 44.2.51 (Fall 2014). Accessed July 15th, 2024.
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