This piece is a minimalist language and poetry generator that assembles words and organizes them into lines of poetry of varying length from two bigram datasets, and assigns them a generated title, beginning with the word “the.” The image above is a sample of its results: mostly recognizable words, creating phrases that may or may not have semantic coherence, forming lines that could be metrically described as amphimacic monometer (/ _ /).
More importantly, by shaping the output of this program to fit poetic conventions and offering its result as poetry, it promotes reflection on the nature of poetry, its social function, and our own willingness to accept the results of a program as poetry.
To what extent are we willing to play along with the word juxtapositions that seem to make no sense, if we know that they are the product of random processes and not a human mind that intended to communicate something?
Then again, can the poems generated by “ppg256” be attributed to Nick Montfort, who obviously made carefully considered choices in programming this piece?
What about readers who encounter one of these poems without knowing the context or its author(s), will they become unknowing participants in a Turing Test?