Poems generated by finding midpoints between how words sound and are spelled

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/17/poems-generated-by-finding-midpoints-between-how-words-sound-and-are-spelled.html

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There is much I don’t understand about art generally and poetry specifically, but I like to learn and am keen to hear any kind of explanation of what’s so great about generating nonsense words. It seems like a mildly interesting idea but the outputs don’t really convey anything to me. I am certain I am not understanding something about this, what is it?


Maybe it’s like finger painting, but with words?
I’m no scholar on the topic, and I prefer more structured poetry in general (both to read and to write) but I get how sometimes simply playing with the medium is the point.

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The tech giants poem looks like a demonic incantation

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Had not come across the term ‘chapbook’ before. Had to look it up.

Pamphlets vs Chapbooks

Pamphlets and chapbooks are, in poetry terms, exactly the same thing. It’s simply that Americans prefer the word ‘chapbook’ and British people prefer the word ‘pamphlet’.

There are historical distinctions between pamphlets and chapbooks to do with the type of content – the pamphlet has a much more political connotation – but in contemporary general usage I don’t think there’s a difference between ‘pamphlet’, ‘chapbook’ and ‘booklet’ unless you’re using a formal bibliographic categorisation system.

PS this is NOT poetry. It may be art of some sort, but poetry, it ain’t.


Aasbol is the word we’ve all been waiting for.


IMO, poetry is at its best when read aloud, and personally, I think the human voice is fascinating. I enjoy listening to various combinations of phonemes, even if they’re assembled into nonsense. If that non-speech sounds kinda like language, so much the better. Like that Italian song that’s supposed to sound like English, but is gibberish.

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ah the Fab Four: Jange, Phol, Phorle, and Girgeau, and never forget the fifth Beatle, Tian.


I can gibber on my own without computer assistance, thank you. If I wanted to hear someone else gibber, I could listen to audio renderings of presidential tweets. But really, the OP examples are to poetry what stochastic sound bursts are to music. It’s like Gertrude Stein’s Oakland CA: there’s no THERE there.

He was surely the Best!

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When will that beard be finished?

         Roweat               Joja
    Pete           Reeton          John
           Keat               Con

I am aace-bown in the gutter

Sounds like a Scandinavian liquor, like Aalborg Akvavit, only more obscure.

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I like neologisms, I like poetry, I like coding. Is it in Iambic Pentameter? No. Fine! Neither were the Dada sound poets. I won’t argue what is or isn’t art. Tastes vary. I now have two new poets to check out and would love to try out something like this myself.

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