Thursday, 7 April 2016

bardolatry or oh no-etry

Coinciding with US National Poetry Month, there’s a clever sonnet-generating algorithm that creates convincing, natural sounding Shakespearian stanzas that adhere to the rules of grammar and scansion, informs Boing Boing. Here is an example, Sonnet № 3959816917:

When I perhaps compounded am with clay
I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night
I grant I never saw a goddess go
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Receiving naught by elements so slow
And buds of marjoram had stol’n thy hair
If my dear love were but the child of state
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you
Such civil war is in my love and hate
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new
Her audit, though delay’d, answer’d must be
If ten of thine ten times refigur’d thee

There is some repetition with certain conceits and stock-phrases reappearing but that’s able to dull the machine whirring in the background and allow the rhythm, rhyme and even meaning come through. I wonder if true scholars could pick out what’s computer-generated sentiment from Shakespeare’s own collection of 154.