Culture: Collaborative Writing
Never-ending Poem   (+5, -4)  [vote for, against]
Simply a poem that is never finished

I'm hoping that this idea will be more accepted than my last one, but anyway, I thought it would be cool if a poet started a poem and wrote something different each day for a set amount of time. Then they would pass it on to another poet ,who would do the same thing and the poem would be passed on and on from poet to poet.

Because this poem would obviously be very long (since it's hopefully going to be never-ending), the first poet could start with a book and when that became full, the current poet would buy another book to write it in.

I got this idea because I saw something about J.R.R. Tolkien, I think it was the LOTR DVDs, and it said that he intended that his writing to be worked on by other writers and it would become this sort of web connecting all these people, and be a great collabrative work. I thought that was a really interesting idea and it would be fun to see how one poem could change from writer to writer.
-- hobbitcoat, Jun 16 2005

Not quite never-ending, but close enough. http://en.wikipedia.../Epic_of_King_Gesar
"The epic is considered the longest literary work in the world. Although there is no one definitive compilation, if completed it would fill some 120 volumes, containing over 20 million words in more than one million verses." [angel, Jun 16 2005]

gizmo's Profile
This has a neverending poem, if you follow the instructions. [dbmag9, Feb 14 2006]

Possibly. I guess I would say a poet would choose the next one who they think is qualified.
-- hobbitcoat, Jun 16 2005

Don't they have this in some rap competitions -- the part about completing stanzas and picking up from one to the other?
-- theircompetitor, Jun 16 2005

I don't think poetry is the right medium for this. In poetry, the meaning of the words is up for interpretation.

'The leaves change colour'

That could be taken as ones feelings changing for another, it could be a metaphor for time passing, or it could just be talking about the seasons. So, although this could make some fairly interesting poetry, it could get messy in a hurry. My vote remains neutral! [ ]

: )
-- Night, Jun 16 2005

Can I suggest an improvement?

The instructions ask each poet to choose (in their opinion) the worst line in the poem and cross it out. That way the poem (hopefully) improves and keeps to a reasonable size.

Theoritically, you get the best poem as n approaches infinity.
-- not_only_but_also, Jun 16 2005

Endlessly rising canon?
-- bristolz, Jun 16 2005


My family have being doing this for years. Write a line of poetry then post it off to another family member. Keep going until you get bored. Read it out at Christmas or Easter or a birthday or whenever the family are all together in one place.
-- DrBob, Jun 16 2005

what a nice idea. DrBob I mean.
-- po, Jun 16 2005

[DrBob] Do you mean you write a poem until people are bored and then you end it, or are you saying you've been writing on the same poem for years? If it's the first one, then it's not exactly the same thing.
-- hobbitcoat, Jun 16 2005

Lots of different poems rather than one never ending one but the principle is the same. It certainly fits your description...

//it would be cool if a poet started a poem and wrote something...for a set amount of time. Then they would pass it on to another poet //

The only difference is the duration of the writing process and the quality of the poetry ;o)

ps: thank you po. My mum started it off and, much to all of our surprise, we discovered that a talent for poetry seems to run through the whole family and that we'd all been secretly scribbling away for years.
-- DrBob, Jun 16 2005

The longer a poem is, the better it has to be for people to read it in complete form. The longer a poem is, the more aimless babbling will creep unnoticed into the creative stuff. Can't vote against this though for some reason. It is an interesting idea if not a good one.
-- wagster, Jun 16 2005

In a way, long running comic strips are like this.
-- bungston, Jun 16 2005

Kind of like the 'Tails for all' post, if you look on it as abstract poetry. Some of the HB posts have been going on for 5 years now...
-- energy guy, Jun 16 2005

Ah, hygeine.
-- harderthanjesus, Jun 17 2005

The Hardcore Bakers eschew the path
The bait in weight not worth the wrath
Of peers, sum fears, they'll issue egad!
at night kind buzz flips good and mad

Come morning, come anno's, come wonder.

I've some memory of an endless symphony. I'll see if I can find a link.
-- Zimmy, Jun 18 2005

random, halfbakery