General Conference Slam Poetry

This week I invented a fun new game: General Conference corpus slam poetry. Here’s how you play: do a search of the General Conference corpus. Poke around in frequency distributions, collocates, words that are disproportionately used by certain speakers, anything at all remotely interesting. When you find something you like, use only punctuation and line breaks to turn your results into a poem. You must keep the words in descending frequency order, as they’re presented in the search results. Now imagine reading it an open mic night in a dark smoky bar somewhere. (Or, you know, in testimony meeting.)

Need an example? This is words disproportionately used by Elder Uchtdorf, in descending frequency order:

“The Silver Fox,” by General Conference

Grandchild!
Pilot jet
Holder: discipleship.
Bearer—prompting, tear—disciple.
Fellowman, priority?
Airplane.

Or there’s this one, verbs occurring before the phrase “the gospel”, again in descending frequency order.

“VERB the gospel”, by General Conference

Preach, receive, live.
Teach, hear, embrace.
Accept, proclaim, obey.
Share.
Carry.
Know.

Or my personal favorite, words occurring one word before “mother”:

“Mother,” by General Conference

My.
His, her, your, thy, ‘s.
Young, its own widowed
Dear, wonderful, angel
–(single)–
Sweet loving mortal whose
Devoted
Earthly
American
Saint.
Beloved, lovely, working
Pioneer. Noble.

Anxious, sorrowing, grief-stricken, heartbroken
Aged, expectant, grieving
Virgin.
Weeping, courageous, departed:

Successful.

What’s the best General Conference corpus poem you can find?

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Ooh, this is fun. Here’s a short one for “apostate” when used as an adjective:

    church
    condition: Christianity
    groups, Mormons, Christendom
    teachers! people! Mormon! churches!
    world—organizations? cliques?




    1

Leave a Reply