‘Him’ By Yves Pokakunkanon
The source text for this piece was selected from text messages between members of a family with a member who got diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Each sentences were divided into 4 groups:
‘he does’ – the condition and behavior of the patient.
‘he feels’ – patient’s feelings and what family members think he feels.
‘he says’ – what the patient says to family members.
‘please do’ – what family members say to each other.
Here’s the final version of the code.
The progress from the initial and the last version is quite drastic. I started off using Tracery to create a very simple poetic form which looks like this.
I asked several people to read and give feedbacks, most of them suggested that the repetition of the word ‘he’ somehow made them uncomfortable. I decided to get rid of the words ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his, from the source text and print out the result again.
I liked that it felt less forced this time without the word ‘he’, but I also think it lost the tension that it had before. I asked people to give feedback again and Winnie suggested me to try repeating each sentence more than one time to increase the tension. I created a function that will repetitively print out first 2 words of each sentence and add next 2 words each time until it prints out full sentence. (Sorry for the confusing explanation! It will be easier to understand if you see the example below!)
I really loved the results this time. I also decided to add one more which consists of 3 adjectives. These adjectives are the synonyms of a randomly selected word from the first paragraph of the piece.
Please see the top of this post for the results!