About mesostics and P.S.

"Poesis spinea" is a Latin approximation of "spiny poetry." I hope I got it right, because I like the name. A mesostic is a type of chance-operation poem invented by John Cage (yes, that John Cage). The poem has a "spine" of capitalized letters down the middle (like an acrostic has a spine down the left).

It is generated by "reading through" a source text with a chosen word or phrase that will be the spine of the completed poem. Words included must follow a few rules, below. The spine text is often the name of the source text's author or of the mesostic's creator.

Criteria of a mesostic:

  1. Between 2 spine letters, neither letter may appear in lowercase;
  2. Limit of 45 characters left of the spine, same to the right;
  3. (Cage: "Then I take out the words I don't want."
    My interp: Don't add all possible words between spine letters.)

P.S. generates a mesostic from the source & spine text you enter; if it cannot finish, it prints a message and the incomplete result. But if it can complete a mesostic with one copy of your spine text (plus the first letter again), it should be able to make one with as many copies as you like (up to 99, for practical reasons).

A true mesostic would use a word no more times than it occurs in the oracle; this program may, however, when it has to loop back to the beginning to find suitable words.

Back to P.S.: Meso