• Environs where poetry is taught; e.g. akin to English schools teaching A Level English Literature: in the UK, this is two markets, the independent school with independent purchasing powers, and the state sector with central purchasing powers. Two groups, students and teachers. I need to do research to understand what teachers will actually need from the software. Assume the students will be computer literate but reluctant; the teachers computer illiterate and weary (but with a computer literate helper).
  • Poets, who are computer illiterate, who want the software for revision more than initial poem construction. They know what they want and need to be able to produce it quickly.
  • Lyricists: different market to poets; they need to be able to link with music software. They are computer literate, and know what they want and need to be able to produce it quickly.
  • Customers in big computer stores with too much money vaguely wondering if they, or little Ethel, might be a poet. They are computer literate, but don’t know what they want.
  • People deeply into poetry, interested in the analysis and comprehension of how poems work They are computer illiterate, but know what they want and need to be able to get to it quickly.
  • Non–English speakers wanting technical comprehension of English language poetry. They will be good at English, even so, otherwise they wouldn't be looking at poetry at all. They are computer illiterate, but know what they want and need to be able to get to it quickly.



  • Licence gets detailed edit of dictionaries etc.. Additional income via associated poetry collection?
  • Payment routes? Paypal, dammit. They badly need serious competition. Which country? Moneybookers? Definitely. Anything else?
  • Promotion? Purchase and download? Link to poetry bookshop? Registration site?


  • Talk to publisher for a collection. Mutual marketing of software and poetry should benefit both. Software documentation must be able to quote poetry from collection. Could be used to promote other publisher material, though it’ll have to be done carefully.
  • See if can get rights to quote poems from general collections. Ideally, a library volume of oodles of English language poetry a la Norton.


  • Packets in computer stores? NOT PRIORITY, but keep in mind. Target: browsers in computer stores.
  • Cheap version: box, client CD, booklet.
    Posh version: box, client CD, booklet, poetry collection.
    Server version: box, client CD, server CD, client booklet, server booklet, poetry collection.

Open Source

Backup route: engineer for option of open source. If business ideas don’t work, at least some software for people who love words will finally be available.


Configurable technical poetry analysis

  • as you type or of existing material, in a clear and unobtrusive manner;
  • offering analysis and comparative analysis of form and form elements, identifying similarities anywhere in the poem, highly frequent and / or unusual patterns of elements, and, if appropriate, matching text against form definition;
  • offer as stand alone product; consider as plug–in to the horrible–to–use duopoly of Office and Open Office, if so support Word Perfect so users can chose a product that does what it’s told (and I want to stay sane);
  • saving standard formats plus import / export to other PoPros, ASCII, OpenDoc, HTML, XML, perhaps some common music software lyric formats, etc.;
  • cliché spotter (which will rubbish much mainstream British poetry);
  • provide poetry templates;
  • add and / or play recordings of recitals of work;
  • Construct for English, but support alternative locales throughout.

Editable form specifications and analysis

  • supporting all common poem forms and form elements including metre, rhythm, repetition, stanzas, rhyme, pararhyme, alliteration, and syllabics;
  • consider performance factors including liaison (for problematic syllable sequences), punctuation, and explore directions for performers;
  • generate form templates;
  • support import / export.

Editable pronunciation dictionary

  • including but not limited to phonetic / syllable-count / rhythm / emphasis;
  • search, including similarity search by form element and word meaning (by spelling and phonetically);
  • alternative pronunciations;
  • international, regional and historical accents;
  • addition and modification of phonemes;
  • offer import / export.

Relative semantics

  • include / reuse existing thesaurus data;
  • offer simple editing of content;
  • permit import / export, particularly of Princeton data.

Editable cliché dictionary

  • add, edit, remove clichés;
  • provide import / export.

Secure online

  • update of product and new form, dictionaries, thesauruses (?), locales and templates;
  • distribution of digitally signed work, identified by poet / title / first line / subject / form / poet’s age / year / derivation, edited publications, help text, for version tracked community / collective / collaborative / copyleft work;
  • local server able to control local redistribution & configure online rights (for schools).

Web site

  • wiki based, mainly to shunt the crap and cause debate;
  • poetry indexing by poet / title / first line / subject / form / poet’s age / year / derivation;
  • encourage collaborative construction, & recordings;
  • areas: edited, schools, “general” (end up full of drivel) and by invitation.

illiterate literates

Given the average poet is computer illiterate, and the average user is poetry illiterate:

  • include an introduction explaining the product’s basic features and how to use it;
  • offer detailed and comprehensive help, explaining the purpose of particular components, and overviews showing how items hang together;
  • include detailed help, with examples, on poetry and technical poetry stuff, editable by the community (wiki).

Technical Requirements

  • operating system independent, specifically, must run on Windows, OS X and Linux;
  • take advantage of multi–core CPU architectures.