Darwinian Poetry

“Once you start, you will be presented with two poems. In all likelihood they will both be abysmal pieces of nonsensical garbage. That’s ok. All you have to do is read them both and pick the one you find more appealing, for whatever reason. Your decision might be based on a single word that you happen to like. It doesn’t matter. Just pick whichever one strikes your fancy.” —Darwinian Poetry (Code As Art)

The project began with a sample of randomly-generated poems. Visitors read two poems and choose which gets to survive. The survivors are somehow combined to make new poems, which again compete for survivial. Interesting concept.

The words being used in these poems (“throne,” “sword”, “lord”, “king”) suggest a kind of Anglo-Saxon bias. Did the pool of words start out this way, or are we seeing the results of cybergeek bias? I also find myself preferring the shorter poems, since they are more likely to make sense.

Update: after playing a little more, I found a poem that included “neurosis” and “syringes”. Hmm.