Gnoetry and the Age, Pt. 1

What follows is the result of my first fumbling with computational poetics, specifically Gnoetry 0.2. Gnoetry is a Linux-based poetry creation software. The user selects source texts and weights the desired word output for each source. Gnoetry takes over and “randomly” generates a poem based on the form the user has chosen (blank verse, haiku, etc.). The user can then “edit” the poem by selecting words or phrases to regenerate (again randomly; think about exchanging Scrabble tiles). I’m experimenting with the program for a seminar on modernist poetics and simply wanted to use this neglected blog to share my output. Thanks to poet Chad Hardy over at Male Cousin for turning me on to this development and the wizards at Gnoetry Daily (I suggest reading the 6x6x6 poems by eRoGK7) for their commitment to the project.

I have used Alexander Pope’s translation of The Iliad, Linux How-to tutorials, and the redacted “Iraq War Logs” originally leaked by WikiLeaks to compose this first poem. I hope to continue using this combination as I explore the program in-depth in order to create a long form poem. Below the poem you’ll find a video demonstrating how the program operates in a Linux environment.

Fri Jul 8 18:09:35 2011

Andrew Donovan & Gnoetry

Update: the last attack. The efforts to
protect the local schools. The road in which
the breathless hero lay; a buried cache.

The injured and the shrine. Update: received
a call. The gods in place, the firing of
the firing of a second hand. The truck,

the blast. The fact the same. The blasted. Now,
Ulysses seeks the realms below! The last
attack in vain. The lost update the skies.


Various (WikiLeaks), The Iraq War Logs Redacted
The Internet, Linux HOWTOs
Homer (translated by Alexander Pope), The Iliad

[Update:  eddeaddad from the Gnoetry Daily crew popped in to offer some clarification about how Gnoetry works. Thanks! His site also hosts the eGnoetry Java tool, which offers a more accesible alternative to Gnoetry generation.]

July 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Molto interessante, ma…

Gnoetry takes over and “randomly” generates a poem

You are correct that Gnoetry generates randomly, but it’s constrained by the pairs of words (bigrams) it sees in the source text. I didn’t write Gnoetry myself, but I wrote a netpoetic post explaining Gnoetry’s basic algorithm as I understand it.