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In the Shadow of Lincoln Cathedral: An Elementary Textbook

September 5, 2011

The bodily heat falls very rapidly.
“It’s my lungs I’m worried about,” Mary said.
Gabriel, why did you ever set your heart on me?
You had charge of the funeral arrangements.

There was no tribute but their tears.
You had charge of the funeral arrangements.
[Sidenote: Result of the contest.]
He did not want to let Renovales go.

But the contest irritated the king.
That husky young boy was her son.
“Did they tell you, Mariano?
She must stay at home and work for others.”


(cut-up by Weltanschauung from 1GB Gutenberg corpus)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 3:24 am

    It looks like your cut-ups are line-lengthed, which solves the local coherence problem. The first couple of stanzas suggest a narrative, which slowly becomes surreal and harder to logically comprehend – it’s an interesting effect.

    • nathanielksmith permalink
      September 6, 2011 2:59 pm

      thanks. yeah, it’s sentence-based cutup…you provide parameters for what each line (ie, sentence) should look like (syllable count, end rhyme, theme) and it does its best (decaying each line’s rule until it finds a candidate) to construct that poem.

      this was thematic…it picked lines within some proximity to another line containing the word “death”. The theming is highly naive: in Prosaic, I hope to have actual sentiment metadata to use.

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