August Writing Challenge 12: Google Search Poem

12-CC-Andy-Wright-550photo by Leo Reynolds

We are challenging you to write your own mini anthology of poems this August! To help you, every two days poet Jon Stone will set a new challenge on the Young Poets Network site to spark off a new poem.

Challenge 12: Google Search Poem

Your title is a phrase or quote you put into Google with inverted commas around it. The poem should be made of whatever comes after the title in the results. You don’t have to use every result or use a particular order; you can be selective!

Jon’s example of a Google Search Poem:

The three main characters are …

Terra, Aqua, and Ventus,
females aged 24-30,
crossed with cat, dog and monkey
verbose, witty, and thoroughly entertaining
classic western archetypes — the town drunk, the prostitute and the schoolmistress —
accomplished professionals in three different creative fields
thrown into each other’s lives,
drawn inextricably towards each other,
caught in an unclear position between childhood and adulthood,
imprisoned by their own psychological hindrances,
sad and despicable,
each escaping something,
forced, through tragedy, to broaden their perspectives,
the three main facets of my personality personified,
the same we always find in this kind of brawler,
the de facto leaders of the revolution,
a forceful and impatient “K”, a more gentle and nurturing “B”, and a scholarly “I”,
all believable, but not stereotypical,
loosely based on real actors,
obstructed from getting a say in the stories in which they operate,
constantly saving each other from danger.

Submitting your poem

Jon has now chosen his favourite response to the Google Search challenge, but you can still use his workshop to spark a new poem and send to one of the opportunities on our Poetry Opportunities Page! Have a read of this poem for inspiration:

I don’t understand why… by Stephi Stacey


Jon Stone

Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He is co-creator of the multi-format arts journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and his collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation. He works as a court transcript editor.

Published August, 2012

5 thoughts on “August Writing Challenge 12: Google Search Poem

  1. I laugh really hard reading that poem since I know all three characters. Some of the description fits, the other a real disaster.

    Anyway, a good challenge!

  2. Last minute question – Can you chop up bits of the results, or do you have to use full sentences? And can you replace a word from one result with a word from a different result (e.g. names, for continuity)?

    1. Hi Isobel,
      I know the challenge has closed now but if you or others wanted to try this again as a workshop exercise – I think you can definitely be flexible and selective, so you can choose groups of words from the results rather than full sentences, and change names here and there. Choose the parts of the results which you find interesting and then find a thread to string them all together!

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