At the end of the latest entry at wood s lot, Mark says “if you track down a lot of poetry on the net Joseph Mosconi‘s Google Poetry Search Engine is very useful”; naturally I was intrigued, so I searched on “pigeon” and got (among many other things) the very silly but enjoyable “Ern Malley’s Cat: pigeon 500,” by Nick Whittock: “trying to keep my eyes open & dreaming of pigeons the same/ things keep happening in the cricket as in my dreams its/ just pigeon after pigeon/ after pigeon after pigeon/ after pigeon…” Mind you, I put in “incarnadine” and didn’t get Shakespeare, so it has a bias towards the current scene, but if that’s what you’re interested in, or if you just like seeing how words get played with by the poetic mind, give it a whirl.
Addendum. Here‘s a similar engine that searches a different mix of sites and may be more likely to have what you want (thanks, mollymooly!).


  1. I tried ‘”way out” through’ and didn’t get Frost, so– not so useful for me.

  2. Odd, considering “Servant of Servants” is in such poetry aggregators as poemhunter.com, americanpoems.com, and netpoets.com…

  3. Ern Malley inhabits quite an interesting place in Australia’s literary history.
    Wikipedia provides the amusing details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ern_Malley

  4. Victor Sonkin says

    Doesn’t seem to search for anything Russian; after several failures, it came up with one link for “я помню” (as in “я помню чудное мгновенье”) which wasn’t poetry at all.

  5. Yeah, that site is an interesting idea but it needs to index more than 286 sites to be truly useful.

  6. mollymooly says

    This site is waaay better.

  7. Thanks, I’ll add it to the post.

  8. mollymooly says

    To be honest, when I said “waaay better”, I was referring mainly to the spaceage “2000 XKZ” codenumber I added to the name when I threw it together. Multiple of 1000 + >20 scrabble points = awesome technology.
    However, I’ve added a few more sites now so it might actually be useful, at least for English-language poetry. Searching for “Pigeon” at least gives you Carl Sandburg.
    Or you could just use this site.

  9. Joseph Mosconi says

    Hello everyone — I’m the person that created the Poetry Search Engine referenced in the post above. I created it over a year and a half ago and have not updated it since that time. It was meant to index mostly avant-garde and experimental poetry and poets — so the fact that Shakespeare and Frost do not appear is not surprising.

  10. It was meant to index mostly avant-garde and experimental poetry and poets — so the fact that Shakespeare and Frost do not appear is not surprising.
    Oh, sure, and I didn’t mean to sound critical—you did what you were aiming to do, and that’s great, but (as I’m sure you’re aware) most people who are into poetry do not limit themselves to the avant-garde and experimental.

  11. Joseph Mosconi says

    Right, nor do they limit themselves to the English language. To be honest I didn’t realize anyone was actually using the search engine. Maybe this post will encourage me to add more sites to the index…

  12. Excellent!

  13. Green Coffee Beans says

    I have not written poetry since I was in school. Mostly just limericks.

  14. I can’t help feeling there is some sort of spam-related game going on here.

  15. Yeah, the latest thing is for spammers to relate the content of their message to the thread in the hopes it will stand out less; sometimes they copy a sentence or two from a previous comment, sometimes (as here) they just leave a vague “I like X” comment. In this case, I was so tickled by the idea of a comment by Green Coffee Beans I deleted the spam URL but left the comment.

  16. Also, while I would like to read poetry written by coffee, I think I would prefer that the beans be roasted so they can get a little experience. Green coffee beans would probably write the same kind of poetry I rejected when I was editor of my high school literary magazine.

  17. Very cool find, thanks for sharing!
    Now to find my favorite Dickinson works…

  18. Yeah, thanks for sharing, Language! I’d no idea spamming was such hard work.

  19. I can see how you might think that it is spamming to post one’s URL on a comment, and not to leave a meaningful comment. All of us who have a blog have to deal with this but you can filter spam, and as you said you can delete the comment.
    I digress this post is not about spam, but about poetry. I am glad that I found it. I have a blog about activities for kids and I am always looking for things their parents have not yet found to talk about. I will do a post on the poetry search engine. Even though it is not a complete index I think that is a very valuable tools for kids who too often today have little exposure to this art.
    kids activities in Lawrence.

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