28 October 2008

Poets and compost

Here are some links to the Forgodot exercise, which began with a posting, "Coming soon to Forgodot" that said they would soon be publishing new poems from .... 3,500 poets or so, some long-dead like Chaucer etc. The new poems were to be published online, as Issue 1, in a PDF ...

Here are the links:

http://www.forgodot.com/

Blogs picked up the story everywhere ...
e.g. http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2008/10/3785_page_pirated_poetry_antho.html

Eventually the Forgodot bloggers explained themselves in a Polite clarification,
http://www.forgodot.com/2008/10/issue-1-polite-clarification.html


Another of the explanations:
http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2008/10/anthology_spoiler.html

Their project to teach a machine, Erika, to write poetry, uses whatever the Erica T Carter algorithm is ...

They harvested names from the Poetics e-list, and maybe from Ron Silliman's blog (which for example, has links to this blog, North of the Latte Line).

Anyhow, the part that interests me is the whole association of a person's "Name" with a "Work" and how we understand that association on a page. For me I think I was most angered by the long silence before the college students explained themselves.

I am perversely amused that the poem attributed to me has bad line breaks, something that really annoys me intensely.

Well for the Erika project, the experimenters are now asking for poets to send them chapbooks so they can feed those into the machine -- because they need lots and lots of stuff for it ...

- - -

Gwen Harwood was apparently very good at making compost but I wonder if she would ever have composted her poems in this way. The question is not very interesting, either poetically or horticulturally, to me. What interests me more is the Gwen Harwoodness of her words, not the generation of them.

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