Melanie Figueroa

Melanie is the Editor-in-Chief at The Poetics Project. She has a masters in writing and book publishing from Portland State University and a passion for stories in all their forms. Her favorite book is The Bell Jar. You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells.

The Curious Relationship Between Writers and Cats

Writers have been said to be solitary beings, which may provide insight into why so many writers seem to choose cats as their companions, rather than man’s best friend. Cats aren’t pack animals, meaning they don’t feel the need to do what anyone else wants them to do. And they have large, peculiar personalities, which can also be said of writers.

When I began researching this curious relationship between writers and cats, I stumbled upon a poem written by William Carlos Williams:

As the Cat

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right
forefoot

carefully
then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty
flowerpot

Pentametron Uncovering the Poetry of Twitter

With the help of a computer program, @pentametron is uncovering the poetry behind tweets on the popular social networking site twitter. Below are just a few of our favorite rhyming couplets:

That hesitation right before a kiss

I don’t remember ever learning this

Don’t matter what the circumstances are

Quit reaching for the stars and be the star

Eye contact is a privilege, not a right

Play secretary, I’m the boss tonight

Kerouac’s 1993 Gap Ad

“Kerouac wore khakis,” states a 1993 Gap advertising campaign. The creators airbrushed photos taken of the writer by Jerry Yulsman, who followed Kerouac around Greenwich Village in 1958 for Pageant Magazine.

The photo was one of many of Kerouac’s belongings sold off in auctions by feuding relatives during the 1990s. An original photo from the collection is pictured below.

Worried About Cliches?

At cliche.theinfo.org writers can paste any piece of text into a blank field, click Find Cliches, and be taken to another page that highlights any and all cliches found in red (check out the screenshot below).

The website uses cliches from The Associated Press Guide to News Writing by Rene J. Cappon, and the home page features a quote from Author George Orwell’s book Politics and the English Language:

[Political] prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.

Even if you aren’t worried about cliches present in your own writing, try it out. It’s a fun tool.