Monday, November 28, 2016

Oh, What Are You Doing, And Where Are You Going?

Important: To view this poem, right-click and hit "View Source Code" or "Inspect" or whatever your browser calls the option to look at the code behind a web page.  This poem may not be viewable via mobile.

(Note: Some of these pages have picked up hitchhiking code. Scroll down about 100 lines.)

The title of this hypertext code poem comes from "In the Valley, Ha! Ha!", a song from the 1977 animated film adaption of Tolkien's The Hobbit.  While it is not technically a part of the poem, I recommend listening to this song while reading the poem if the noise won't be too distracting.

You can read "Oh, What Are You Doing, And Where Are You Going?" here.  To experience the poem, you need to inspect the code on each page.  The twenty-two navigable pages of this piece contain narrative snippets with hyperlinks on their surface.  You can ignore these.  Quatrains are contained within the code.  These, along with a separate title and redundant byline, make up the poem.  The narrative snippets constitute a separate project; however, the hyperlinks on each page are used by both projects.

Most of this poem's quatrains are unrhymed, but some of them have a rhyming pattern such as ABCB or AABB.  I don't know much about meter.  I've written the stanzas to sound nice, and that likely means that at least some of them are metered.

Some of the stanzas are written for imagery.  Others are written for sound, theme, and/or special relationships between words.  They all contain at least a small amount of all four values.

Each stanza is based upon its title.  There are, of course, also narrative snippets sharing those titles, but the quatrains of this code poem are not directly related to those snippets.

It should become clear quite quickly that this poem deals with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror tropes.

This poem is dedicated to Glenn Yarbrough, who sang "In the Valley, Ha! Ha!"  He passed away on August 11, 2016 at the age of 86.

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