Playing the hippie poetry game for four cents per line

The party game goes by many names. Hippie poetry, Beat poetry, Dada poetry. To play, have a group of people sit in a circle and give each person a piece of paper and writing implement. To start, each person writes a single line of poetry and hands it to the person to his or her left or right. (The direction isn't important, as long as it's consistent.)

At each round, you add one line to the growing poem, then fold over the top of the page so that only the line you added is visible. Pass the paper to the left (or right), and repeat. Popular stopping conditions are when the paper is full or when the page returns to the person who started the poem. Once the poem is complete, the paper is unfolded and everyone takes turns reading the results. They are usually quite absurd.

That was a long and ultimately unsatisfying set-up for the fact that you can make money playing this game. And you do it via the Internet from your home. The catch: You get paid four cents per line. Oh, and the poem is about sex.

Comments (5)
  1. Sitten Spynne says:

    I wonder what kinds of results Hippy Programming would produce?

  2. Morten says:

    Semi-open source. Would be nasty. All the weaknesses of both camps. I’m thinking Lotus Notes applications. :-)

    (I’m a Notes developer and admin so I’m entitled to say that. The rest of you, back off… ;-) )

  3. Joe says:

    This sounds like yet another variant of the Telephone X games.  See, for example, Telephone Pictionary (, where you alternate between drawing a picture of a sentence and writing a sentence about a picture.

    But getting paid for it, and writing about sex, that’s certainly a new twist.

  4. Cheong says:

    I’ve seen a shorter variant.

    Each people playing the game choose a card that contains "Who", "When", "Where", "What" and "Why (what for)". Then each of them write their part without talking to the others. 2 minutes later they build a sentence with the parts. The result could be quite absurd too. :)

  5. Jivlain says:

    A forum I used to frequently regularly has a "four word story" meme. Each of the participants adds four words to the story.

    They inevitably end up being about sex. I should add at this point: the participants are pretty much exclusively male :p

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