Anyone can access the pages and contribute. If the contributors write bad lines, the poems will just be unbearably awful. If they write good lines, the results will be a pleasure to read! So it's up to you.
Some of the more obvious considerations are:
- Read the poem so far before submitting your line, so you get some idea of what it's about and what the verse form is.
- Pay attention to any stanza form and rhyme scheme that's been established - if you're going to break the form, do so for deliberate artistic effect, not just because you didn't look carefully enough at what had already been written!
- Stick to the established metre of a poem, unless you've got a good reason not to - it's very hard to read a poem which keeps changing rhythm. Please make sure you know what the metre is before you add a line - serious metrical crimes may be punished by oblivion (see 2).
- Parody and quotation can be overdone!
In the normal run of things, I don't tamper with contributions, and I never
- rewrite people's lines to improve them.
- Occasionally, I feel obliged to delete lines which are grossly offensive, libellous, etc.
- Sometimes I zap lines which show a negligent (or even callous!) disregard for the established metre and rhyme scheme of a poem. I'm not pedantic about this (it's nonsense verse, after all) - but I do get complaints when a poor line makes it hard to continue the poem, or a pretty good poem is suddenly ruined by a badly chosen line.
- Once in a while, someone comes along and makes consistently stupid contributions, obviously intended to wreck the poems. I block access to those who do this, and may delete their lines, too.
See the How it Works page. This tells you how to correct or delete a line.
You don't have to enter a name, and you can enter any name you like. However, the database used by the Spoonbill Generator stores the name of your Internet host.
You do italics and bold, by typing in the appropriate HTML tags:
- For italics, put
<i>before the words and
- For bold, put
<b>before the words and
If you do this please make sure you enter both tags, otherwise all subsequent contributions will keep on with the same font.
If you are familiar with HTML, then you'll find you can use most other HTML tags. However, if you try to use
<p> to split your contribution into more than one line, the Spoonbill Generator won't let you.
Sometimes you may want to submit a line, but feel that it's not immediately obvious where the stresses are supposed to be. You can put an acute accent over the stressed vowel by typing in a special code for the accented vowel:
Even if you know how to get these characters with the normal keyboard, don't use that method - it will produce characters that may not display properly in all browsers.
Incidentally, you have do this with a single vowel: if you want to indicate that ai is stressed, you have to use
ái to get ái -
&aiacute; won't work.
If you get it wrong, please use the correction facility!
All poems are added to the Golden Treasury when completed.
The main Treasury page shows only poems completed in the current year, and, until they have all been titled, the poems finished in the previous year. There are links to the pages for previous years, and there's also a Title Index for all the poems which have been titled.
The Golden Treasury will also have a search facility shortly.
On all pages in the Treasury, poems are in chronological order.
Completed poems have a button. Clicking on this will bring up a title suggestion form. Every so often, I look through the suggestions and make my title choices.
Title suggestions should consist only of words submitted - you're not allowed to add the, a, of, in, etc. The Spoonbill Generator will reject any suggestions which don't include just the words listed.
This means that when you are adding a new line to a poem, it can be quite a good idea not just to submit nouns, verbs and adjectives as title words, but some articles, prepositions etc.
A number of contributors use the Spoonbill Bulletin Board, set up by Nym, to discuss current poems and other Spoonbill-related matters.
Of course, you can. I can't do anything about the quality of the contributions, but if you've got any suggestions for improving how the Spoonbill Generator works, you can:
- Post a message to the Spoonfeedback bulletin board - this has the advantage that other people will be able to see your suggestion and comment on it. You could even check here first to see if someone else has already had the same idea.
- Mail me at email@example.com
All contributions to the Spoonbill Generator, any poems created on it, and the scripts which run it are covered by the GNU Copyleft Licence. Note that this does not apply to other material on this server, just the Spoonbill Generator pages.
If you want to use the PHP code for the Spoonbill Generator, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes indeed! I regularly submit the poems for literary prizes and pocket the winnings.
The name was suggested by the QWB (Society for Universal Bafflement) after extensive market research.