I recently had an assignment at Rowan University to create a generative code poem. It was a rather different experience than I’m used to; I write more formal poetry, and I’m normally very particular about form, rhythm, rhyme, and so forth. The generative poem, however, doesn’t allow me to control such things (at least, not without a greater understanding of programming).
Instead of writing a poem from scratch (and since the class was a writing class, not a computer programming class, most of the students didn’t know anything about coding), our assignment was to choose the words that would be fed into the poem. The code itself was written by someone else and mostly stayed unaltered. The result is a poem that generates lines randomly in a fixed (but somewhat randomized) pattern. The creative/artistic aspect of it was in trying to choose the right words or phrases to be displayed, while understanding that the results would be mixed up and unpredictable.
I decided to craft my generative poem based on Manifestation. My word banks are based on the characters of my novel, along with some of the most common words, phrases, feelings, themes, and emotions that can be seen in the story.
The results can be found here. The poem should load in your browser window and generate lines at a steady pace. It will continue endlessly until you close the window.
Createspace in paperback