Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rearranging words . . .

     If we count all possible arrangements of 18 words, the total number of these is 18! (18-factorial) and equal to 6,402,373,705,728,000 -- a collection of word-permutations that would be a burden, rather than a joy, to contemplate.  (This previous posting offers some small lists of permutations for review.)
     Poet Darby Larson boldly experiments in his verse and in a 2009 posting (found months ago at but no longer there) I found these three stanzas -- three of the more-than-six-quadrillion possible arrangements of a particular list of eighteen words.  

     Suppose there's morning
     angry in your wake-up eyes
     and the beads hung sway
     surely windy noise is what.

     Suppose in your beads
     hung there's morning angry
     noise and windy wake-up
     eyes sway is the surely what.

     In your noise suppose the
     windy beads sway angry
     and there's morning hung
     what wake-up eyes is surely.

I have enjoyed puzzling over Larson's arrangements and may try my own.  My posting for 16 May 2011 shows a bit of my own experimentation with permutations of smaller numbers of words.
Despite lots of searching, I have not found a way to contact Larson online, but his poems are available -- here, for example, at Sleeping Fish.   Also  I have found this htmlgiant posting by Larson -- in which he links to information about an Electronic Text creative writing course at NYU, taught by Adam Parrish.  These are leads I will follow to learn more.

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