Get A Google Poem
August 20, 2004 4:28 AM   Subscribe

Get A Google Poem
posted by ubueditor (18 comments total)
I don't get it. Isn't this just Google search results without links?
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:06 AM on August 20, 2004

I had a go and tried a few
and every one was shite
I guess they've got
some work to do.
But then, it's probably not a very good idea in the first place
posted by jiroczech at 5:19 AM on August 20, 2004

They are sort of like found poems, but infinitely crappier. Too much variety involved I suppose. It is still pretty fun to play with though, especially if your search for pr0n words and toilet humor.
posted by sciurus at 5:42 AM on August 20, 2004

dark night, warm sun

Compiled 8/20/2004 1:51:06 PM GMT

Lying asleep between the strokes of night I saw my ... lily's leaf or head,
Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare ...
to bite, Too wan for blushing and too warm for white ...
Thirty slim, dark brown girls stepped to the water's edge.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:45 AM on August 20, 2004

> But then, it's probably not a very good idea in the first place

The idea's not bad at all, but the implementation was often disappointing. I thought it would be much cooler than it actually turned out to be. In particular, I was hoping that the resulting poem exposed little chunks and nuggets that were consistently suggestive of poetic wordplay, but this didn't happen often.

Other poem generators seem to have a built-in lexicon of stock phrases, and this is their failing — after a while, you see them repeat a few phrases over and over, and the magic bubble pops and it's no longer interesting. The strength is that phrases are chosen in advance to be fit to assemble, so for a few rounds, the output is consistent.

The google poem generator has the opposite problem. It has a huge selection of phrases to work with, all of varying degress of poetic fitness. What is needed is a clever way to determine suitable phrases, extract them, and reassemble them so they fit together nicely. That sounds like a very hard job indeed, and it is the complexities of language make it so.

Still, a very fun link that got me thinkin'. Thanks, ubueditor!

(On preview, CunningLinguist got a pretty good one.)
posted by SteelyDuran at 6:01 AM on August 20, 2004

First try too!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:09 AM on August 20, 2004

On second thought, some repetition might be useful. Racter used repetition to suggest a train of thought. I really enjoyed Racter, because it took longer for the bubble to pop, once I'd finally exhausted its templates and everything started looking the same. But for a while I'd be floored by, for example, "Why are foxes like babies? Because their hope and pessimism are momentarily frightening."

ThoughtTreasure is supposed to have someserious linguistic ability also, but I haven't played with it for long enough to tap its language power.
posted by SteelyDuran at 6:13 AM on August 20, 2004

A-ha! Changing the pattern made a huge difference for me. Absolutely don't give up until you've tried a few different patterns. Couplets about "perpetual motion" yielded these gems (edited WAY down, and two couplets interchanged):

of years of people who have promised
9,041. Time: 19:37. Zone: Heightened

unworkable devices analyzed to expose
Green and Ugly Trouble in Paradise

over time, and mass. The staff
Motion - An Ancient Mystery

machine). This is a very short notice
of an isolated mechanical device

Motion is an internet-only radio show
and the Perpetual Motion Roadshow

motion machines has long been
Heightened Reality. Meanwhile, on

motion machine). This is a very short
and clubs stage sports words art

of people who have promised free
logged in you would be able to see

Speeding Through the Night. Click
to achieve perpetual motion date back

of years of people who have promised
9,041. Time: 19:37. Zone: Heightened

...and much more. I now take back everything I said about the Google poem generator. It really has the goods afterall.
posted by SteelyDuran at 6:26 AM on August 20, 2004

Those are pretty good. It sort of reminds me of an exercise I used to do where I would cut words from a magazine, shuffle them around in a hat and make a 'poem' by pulling them out one by one.

I've still not gotten a good one. *grumbles*
posted by sciurus at 7:13 AM on August 20, 2004

I just put in "your kiss is so sweet" and got some great returns. On of the middle stanzas is in all caps, from a fan of Weezer. Then there's another stanza that's pulled from someone's weblog where a random commentor is telling the author how hot she looks.
posted by mathowie at 8:10 AM on August 20, 2004

Ha, I just tried to conjure up some Cannibal Corpse-style [Warning: HORRIFYING and definitely NSFW] lyrics by using "entrails of death" (couplets), and it one-upped me and made something pretty. It might be my favorite one I've seen so far, in fact. Here's just the ending bits:

- I mean, it's one
Along a crowded street I walk alone

a goat's entrails stuffed in
or prophecy by the examination

lay before them - my clutch, you
leap from the shadows in which you

I mean, it's one thing to report
them at on a faithless heart

Super-great, way beyond my expectations in every way. Anyway, I'm dominating the conversation, so I'll chill out now.
posted by SteelyDuran at 8:49 AM on August 20, 2004

Ironically, on my first try, I got the following lines about CunningLinguist.
and 4 Guests Administrator Moderator Most users ever online was 27 on Sat
Mar 06, 2004 7:53 pm Registered Users: Cunning Linguist, Ozmandius, Twiddler. ...

Not only do you get the best lines, but us lesser mortals are simply given lines about you.
posted by seanyboy at 9:58 AM on August 20, 2004

... We saved the best for last, the grasshopper. I closed my eyes
and dropped one
in my mouth. ... It tasted like fish, not chicken!

short antennae, not easily seen Size: Up to 10 mm long Backswimmer (1) swims
on back large eyes
occupy most of the head abdomen is like a broad ...
Shockwave Flash
unwary creatures. "MEGGA" My eyes
are big, because I like to see what
I can eat, and what might be going to eat me! "BEKUS" My beady ...

... If you've ever examined one of these waterbugs
closely — the ... the posture of the shell,
even when tipped, like that in the gaze of Gauguin's natives' eyes. ...

They wait in ambush, hanging head down, long oar-like hind legs ready to kick swiftly
into action, scanning the surrounding with their large compound eyes. ...

would see that I am transparent and delicate, with two or three long tails, short
antenna and bulging eyes.
posted by Tlogmer at 10:38 AM on August 20, 2004

Wild phantoms on the foam Free feeling on my

Acceptance is a million
ocean miles away ... storm brings the wetness of rain dripping from my
hair strand ...

and distant tunder but I can also feel that wind
in her hair
and smell of ocean... ... Wonderfull
job you made here

It does not matter how often I visit the ocean, it always makes me melancholic ... My
dress was clinging to my
legs and my
hair was being whipped by the wind. ...

that your hands stroked my
hair, And how it felt when you breathed my
name in
ears... Call me out of the ocean, Call me out of the cold hard wind
Call my

Ocean Beach. Top of the wooooooorld! Titanic pose on a Pacific rock. Wind in
my hair, ocean
on my
posted by Tlogmer at 10:52 AM on August 20, 2004

I was quite impressed with this:


Stockard Channing puts on six different accents and sticks candles on your

You're forced to gild kumquats
and bay leaves and string
them on a wire

____________________________ anything I've come up with myself recently.
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:33 PM on August 20, 2004

Sean - what did you put in as keywords?? (Plus, it must be a different CL - I have no space in my incredibly stupid screen name.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:20 PM on August 20, 2004

combine Google Poem with cut-up.cgi and you've got Gysin smiling poetry.
posted by Satapher at 9:26 PM on August 20, 2004

posted by seanyboy at 5:22 AM on August 21, 2004

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