Friday, March 04, 2005


This one's for the geek half of my audience (he said with overestimative confidence).

Two poetry links of interest to people who do
lateral thinking puzzles for fun on Sunday mornings (and you know who you are):

Underway for some time now, the
Darwinian Poetry experiment continues to use "natural selection" to systematically assemble new poems from the best liked parts of older poems. The study is 22 generations old and has accumulated nearly 200,000 votes as the input for its selection process; poems which get many votes live on and spawn, poems which get fewer votes die off. Now when I say "poem", I mean this:

where fall beautiful
beating beyond the
loneliness till love the doubted pressed in
mouth doesn't comes foreign
a love strangely motionlessness
(poem #17071)

I don't know if it's poetry (though it's better than some stuff I've read from real live people), but it's interesting, and it certainly is fuel for the creative engine. I'm afraid the experiment has lost some of its momentum (I first wrote about it in June, 2003), but it's still worth a look.

Substituting web trawling for personal opinion, Finnish poet
Leevi Lehto has created a Google Poem Generator. Your search string and selections on a few variable are pressed through the Google index and made into poems. These can be fascinating - don't be surprised to get some real found poems - and also great fuel. While you're on The Google Poem site, be sure to check out everything on Lehto's menu. Thanks to Ron Silliman for this link.

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