Memento Mori

A Collection of Short Poems

A collection of eight short poems presented as a PDF Booklet. The title “Memento Mori” reflects a connecting theme based around the idea that if we intentionally take time to contemplate our own mortality, then we can find reasons to try to be better people while we still live.

If you possess a printer capable of printing on both sides of A4 sheets, then you can download the booklet PDF, load it into Adobe Acrobat Reader, and print it out at A5 size using Acrobat’s “Booklet” print settings.

I used a generative method to create the “seeds” of subject ideas for the poems. This involves extracting text from public domain works using a randomizing algorithm to create blocks of source text. I then (by eye) scan the blocks multi-directionally, looking for significant words and/or phrase sequences that could form the seed of a poetic subject. I extract those texts, and then further edit them down into the basis of a line that will form part of the finished poem. If I sense potential prosody in the lines, I typically select an appropriate metre, and possibly a structure and a rhyming scheme; if not, the lines may become blank verse or even free verse. I then edit lines granting myself full freedom to delete, insert, and/or modify the text through very many iterations until I am satisfied with the result. This is a laborious method, and often the finished poem contains little (if any!) of the original text – however, it is a poetic equivalent of my generative techniques for music, and is just something I am comfortable with.

My writing process may seem odd (or even ridiculous…), but it does have some heritage in artistic movements of the last century such as Surrealism, Dada, Found Objects, and “Stream of Consciousness” writing.


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