Pastoral By Brittany N. Jaekel

Issue 10

the swan drones the June.
smoky peace sheep. dog. the noise wanders.

the house shines a glass green northward.
there, verse is air

the waste paper and the wet stage
the words boil.

tales dipped then swayed, then stayed. 


Source: IEEE sentences, also known as the “Harvard Sentences”. According to Wikipedia, these sentences were originally created for testing speech understanding through telephone systems. See Rothauser, E., Chapman, W., Guttman, N., Nordby, K., Silbiger, H., Urbanek, G., and Weinstock, M. (1969). “IEEE recommended practice for speech quality measurements,” IEEE Trans. Audio Electroacoust. 17, 225-246. 

Method: The IEEE sentence corpus, which contains 720 individual sentences, was placed in a spreadsheet so that every sentence appeared in its own row and every word from every sentence appeared in its own cell. Certain columns were sorted alphabetically or reverse-alphabetically, creating mixtures of new sentences. Sentences or parts of sentences from this process were selected and assembled into stanzas.

Brittany N. Jaekel is a graduate student in Alexandria, Virginia. Her writing has been featured in Bird’s Thumb, Burningword Literary Journal, and other places.