This generative poem produces more sestinas than the known universe. To be precise, it can produce 910,251,623,407,960,787,539,543,324,904,089,233, 758,905,973,536,329,779,381,000,049,443,843,029,464,779,513,168,359,606, 194,209,951,426,108,247,244,800,000,000,000,000,000 possible variations (as calculated by Waber). It’s a heck of a lot more than Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes (100,000,000,000,000 poems), which would require more time to read than is possible in a lifetime. After a certain point, one would have to wonder what is the point of reading a poem that is impossible to read fully?
Perhaps that is not the point.
Read more“Sestinas” by Dan Waber