the algorithm of voice

The probability of one voice
wielding words the way the muse swings mine
so it is identifiable is unlikely: a probability
of 99.95% against, like a DNA test
disproving kinship, the punctuation
I choose unique as DNA base sequences rising
from a common skeletal language; a CGAAC
unique to Shakespeare so no one but him
can compare a mistress’ eyes to the sun,
or Eliot rolling trousers and tasting peaches.
No-one else is saying this truth
the way I tilt it.

I could spin the numbers of my name
to generate in a fickle breeze ripples
across the calm surface of a pond that 5 represents:
the only predictability in my mutability
being nothing is fixed– catch me if you can,
but you will hear my voice and know it
when I whisper it across water,
or perhaps calculate the probability
of whom is speaking by the precise wink
one  semicolon represents.


**The dVerse prompt was numerology.  My number is 5 for change or mutability.  Add to that my astrological planet of mercury, and then wonder why you can’t pin me down 😉

I had to write this, after hearing about a computer program that can identify, by sentenct length, patterns of punctuation, and certain word choices, a unique writer’s voice.  Hmmm.  So now there is a computer program that can divine what most of us can already intuit.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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39 Responses to the algorithm of voice

  1. Susan, thanks for coming by. Love your poem – you do have a unique voice.

  2. Love your references to Shakespeare and Eliot and the emoticon;)There is a such a thing as a unique voice,recognisable anywhere.” no one else is saying this truth, the way I tilt it” I like this line. Excellent poem. Thank you for the enjoyable article on Rowling. The disturbing thing about it is that it is going to be impossible in the future to publish anonymously.I think our personal freedoms and privacy are being eroded although this new technology is very impressive.Amazing how Rowling’s submission was rejected by a number of publishers when they did not know who she was.

    • Yeah, that they rejected her work was surprising to me, as well. I love her work.

      i agree that by being able to identify our voices so well, we will love out anonymity. Wonder if anyone has compared Anne Rice’s erotica with her other work, and if somehow the voice comes through as statistically sound.

  3. oneofaclass says:

    from unique voice print
    to algo-rhythm of prose
    you’re always unique

  4. howanxious says:

    wow… great use of numbers and mathematics in general.. the probability is definitely favorable for your creation to impress others. 🙂

  5. So I wonder will this be the end of the good old literary hoax! Such an interesting article and a wonderful poem, and no one will say the truth the way you tilt it…your voice is your voice… and now we’ll all know it whether you want us to or not… 🙂

  6. claudia says:

    ha smiles…i certainly need no computer program to recognize your voice susan…what a weird invention…and oh i like that last stanza with the ever ongoing change….the only predictability in my mutability…ha…i certainly like that…smiles

  7. wolfsrosebud says:

    two step forward and three back… change a hard thing

  8. ManicDdaily says:

    Such an interesting idea – I wonder if it does measure the same types of things people hear though. A very creative response to the prompt–really. k.

  9. brian miller says:

    ha, nothing is fixed, so cat ch me if you can…i like the playfulness of this…and it is good that no one has your voice…i am sure there will be ones that try to copy you one day…ha. pretty funny that they are designing programs to do what we already can…smiles…

    • Isn’t it funny that they do what we can intuit? As if somehow a machine has more “street cred” than the mind. Sigh. Aw, shucks, Brian–my “style,” if I have one, is pretty boring. Thanks for the comment!

  10. Laurie Kolp says:

    How cool is that… that we’re both 5s and the voice technology. Enjoyed this so much, Susan!

  11. aprille says:

    fascinating aspect of numbers.
    That tweet forever after scares me. I shall stay off it for good now.
    The demented comma on my screen turns out to me a thunderbug – scrambling the odds of recognition 🙂

  12. Mary says:

    Very interesting to think that there is a computer program that can recognize individual writers’ voices. I wouldn’t doubt that though. I think everyone has his/her trademarks, phrases, punctuations, etc. And I find myself wondering if a writer could intentionally change his/her style in order to trick the program……hmmmm.

  13. aka_andrea says:

    and what if you changed your style, let your poetic voice do some growing? would it no longer recognize you as who you were? well, I guess that happens with people too…Great write, lots to ponder in this.

  14. nelle says:

    Har, even before your ending, I was planning on saying, ‘the NSA says hello’.

  15. Awesome dear~it brought to mind the book “Letter by Robert Frost” in which he says there’s a and sounds of common sense… and that we should hear the true conversations and true meanings behind doors… you’ve mixed sound with accents seamlessly !

  16. Miriam E. says:

    “I could spin the numbers of my name
    to generate in a fickle breeze ripples
    across the calm surface of a pond that 5 represents:
    the only predictability in my mutability
    being nothing is fixed–”

    … so cool! you did it again, Susan. once again i am speechless, breathless and well satisfied. and that sounds way too naughty written down lol

  17. Bruce Ruston says:

    Great poem and really like the Title

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