marja-leena – Yeah. And if you want to recapture the true magnetic poetry experience, there are several online versions of it: Shuffle Words, Magnetic AJAX, and netVerse.

David – Yes, words are sized according to frequency of use, which you’ll see if you enter a text and choose the option to include all the little words: “the” immediately dominates the cloud as “why” does here.

lissa – Thanks. Of course I wasted way too much time trying all the different fonts and styles of arrangement. It’s addictive.

Cindy – Good point! I’ll have to try and do something with Wordle for the Festival of the Trees sometime.

Jo –

People don’t get poetry because they’re visual, really?

“Or not.”

I can only speak for Americans, but here it’s not just lack of exposure, it’s hostility toward intellectuality and resentment toward English teachers who tend to teach poems in exactly the wrong way – as puzzles to be solved. (See the latest link in my “gleanings from the web” on the sidebar for a good example of how to teach poetry right.) For young kids, I think the key is to link poetry and word-play to fun by exposing them to such masters as Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.

Peter – Regardless of the question, Black Sabbath is the answer, I find.