Why Computer Poetry?
A great deal of poetry mystifies it's readers: It may sound pretty, but it leaves you wondering "what the hell was that supposed to mean?". Yet meaning (or the lack of it) is the one ingredient distinguishing computer generated poems from those written by humanoids. Once you take away a poem's semantic features, it's remaining defining characteristics might easily be automated in the cyber realm. For example, one of the reasons a poem might be recognized as a poem (and not prose) is that the text is often formatted into some kind of rhythmic structure.

A poetic rhythm is usually achieved by matching the syllable counts in pairs of lines (couplets) or alternating lines. A syllable can be thought of as a beat: it is a natural rhythmic unit in a spoken word. In the case of songs (sung poems), the syllables usually sync up to the notes in the melody. The skill of matching up the syllable counts in adjoining (or alternating) lines of poetry might traditionally be identified as a special human talent, but it is a chore which can also be performed by poetry software. The fact that no computer can understand human language shouldn't present much of a problem: many songs and poems seem meaningless anyway!

Computer-generated Poetry with ROBOPOEM:
Robopoem is a computer program which creates poetry out of random words and user input. The computer algorithms powering Robopoem analyze INPUT words to determine their rhythmic structure and rhyming characteristics. Based on these properties, a random selection is made from a pool of potential words which have the desired syllable counts and rhyming structure as requested by the user in a Settings panel.

Poem-generating algorithms:
  • Regular poem - mixes user input and a random sampling of words from a variety of sources
  • Shake It! - mixes user input with random samples from William Shakespeare's plays
  • Jabberwock - builds a poem with user words mixed with random selections from a database of nonsense words
Special display functions:
  • Fridge Magnet Poetry - transforms a robopoem into virtual fridge magnets which can be dragged around in a computer window
  • Ransom Note Generator - Words of a robopoem are re-presented in a graphic format where each letter is represented in magazine or newspaper cutout fonts

For more information about the Robopoem poetry-building functions read the poetry generator functions section of the Cut'n'Mix User Guide.

The Robopoem poetry algorithm is now a part of the latest release of the Cut'n'Mix Word Machine application. In addition to automatic poem generation, Cut'n'Mix provides:
  • a cut-up laboratory (AKA: fridge-magnet poetry emulator)
  • word shredding, blending and morphing
  • a ransom note generator,
plus many more fun and useful tools not found in ordinary word processors.
Find out more from the Cut'n'Mix Word Processor Web Site
Automated Text Assembly Flowchart illustrating automated word mixing and text randomization functions in Cut'n'Mix:

NEW FOR DECEMBER 2011: ROBOPOEM can fit into Smartphones! Now available in Beta: The basic ROBOPOEM poetry-building algorithm has been ported to the Android 2.2 platform so that you can generate nonsensical random poems while waiting at the bus-stop. Attention Zoyd Wheeler: No more busting your brain over the format for your next public display of insanity! Just click the ROBOPOEM button on your Android phone and let the robot fill your head with diabolical blatherings with properly balanced poetic meter and rhyme!
Type the link below into your Android browser for direct download on your phone, OR download it to your PC then transfer to your phone. (App is not currently registered with the app store.) Note: No guarantees are made for fitness of purpose etc. etc.) cutnmix.com/robopoem/androidapp.html
Or, scan the QR Code with your phone:

Other interesting computer poetry websites:
Free MP3 Music Downloads for Video Productions
Software That Creates Art