Poem Generator: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 14/30

This month, I’m tagging along with ChristieMargaretJoneMary Lee, and other writers to play with poetry for National Poetry Writing Month. I’ll be creating poems using haikubes, metaphor dice, magnet poetry, paint chips and anything else that catches my fancy.

Today I decided to do a mash-up of paint chip poetry with the Poem Generator website. Poem Generator is kind of awesome, and I have a feeling I’ll be back this month. You select the type of poem you want to write (options include haiku, concrete, limerick, sonnet, even villanelle!) and then fill in words based on parts of speech, rather like a Mad Libs. Then the Poem Generator does its thing and voila! You have a poem.

For the haiku and the free verse poem, I only used words from paint chips. For the third concrete poem, I used descriptors to match Oliver, who happened to be sitting in my lap at the time.

While Poem Generator does use some of the words you submit, it also uses its thesaurus to find words it thinks are like your words. And that’s really where the fun comes in. Coffee became java became “object-oriented programming language,” for instance. The cat concrete managed to turn up three words I don’t even know! (Chelae–pincer claws, pinna–the external part of the ear, moggie–British slang for a nonpedigree cat). Even when a poem is finished, there is a “refresh” option to generate a different version. (I’m sharing two versions of the coffee poem here).

I don’t think any of the poems really works as poetry, but there are moments I like in each one (I might try some cut and paste poems later in the week, taking just the lines I like from 10 or 12 different Poem Generator versions). The concrete poem was most interesting as many versions of each line are generated, and the poet can select which one he or she prefers.


I saw the toasty island of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the java.
Does the java make you shiver?
does it?

How happy is the golden caffeine!
Never forget the blest and colored caffeine.

I cannot help but stop and look at the zany chocolate.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the chocolate,
Gently it goes – the unreasonable, the foolish, the clownish.


The object-oriented programing language that’s really toasty,
Above all others is the java.
Does the java make you shiver?
does it?

A caffeine, however hard it tries,
Will always be golden.
Does the caffeine make you shiver?
does it?

I cannot help but stop and look at the yellow chocolate.
A chocolate is cowardly. a chocolate is chromatic,
a chocolate is irrational, however.

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