Friday, August 01, 2003

From the Boston Globe, Tuesday August 29, 2003

Poetry red in tooth and claw

Poems are duking it out in a Darwinian sense on David Rea's website. He's designed a computer program that allows poems to evolve. Starting with 1,000 random words culled fro "Hamlet," "Beowulf," and the "Iliad," among others, his program randomly assembles them to create a short verse. If you visit his website (, you are given two of these verses and you choose the one you like best. The unpopular ones are killed off, but the poems with the most votes get to "breed" with each other, exchanging words like genes. Rea has also programmed in a mutation, where every new poem has a one-in-a-thousand chance of having a dropped or added word, or a word shifting its place. The resulting off-spring poems are once again put up and voted on, and so on and so forth. After enough generations, Rea says on his site, "we should eventually start to see interesting poems emerge." One recent survivor of this (un)natural selection was "Hellhound the beds though to/Puppeteer shout ho recesses now/For in the sphere it is cricket curfews/With therein of stolen." Charmingly incoherent as it is, it looks like poetry requires a creator.

Also, visit the message board which in some ways is as interesting as the poems.
Back to work.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

I'm having trouble w/ spaces.
Poem for Friends
has been revised.
It may reappear
under a new title.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Gata has come home!
She told me--in Spanish--that she had spent two days and one night expanding her "ciudad muelle."

Gata f she-cat; low-hanging cloud; Madrid woman; (Mex) maid, servant girl; a gatas on all fours, on hands and knees

Thought you might like to know. Also...

blando adj bland, soft; indulgent; flabby; sensual; cowardly; (ojos {eyes}) tender

muelle adj soft, voluptuous

There is also "mullido adj soft, fluffy".
In honor of Mark's post about translation, and in honor of the la luna in Lorca's Bodas de Sangre, and in honor of the tides {see Saturday's post} here's a translation from Lorca's La suite de los espejos:


Lady Moon.
(Has someone broken the quicksilver?)
What child has lit
the lantern?
A mere butterfly’s enough
to put you out.
Quiet … but is it possible!
That firefly is the moon!
That glowworm!
Back to work.