@DependsUponBot, @JustToSayBot, and @BlackBoughBot by Mark Sample

Open @BlackBoughBot, @DependsUponBot, & @JustToSayBot by Mark Sample

This trio of bots by Mark Sample present riffs on three of the most famous poems of the early Twentieth Century: William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “This Is Just to Say,” and Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro.” The bots generate new versions of the poems by randomly altering most of the open word classes while keeping the basic syntax, meter and lineation intact, tweeting a new mutation once every two hours (though at the time of writing @DependsUponBot has been inactive since December 2014, for reasons unknown —editor’s note: it has now resumed operations). To my mind, the pleasure of these bots’ tweets lies in the discrepancy between the familiarity of the syntactical structure and the limit-case absurdity of the randomly generated content. For example, the sublime juxtaposition Pound presents the reader –

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“Figure 5 Media Series” by William Carlos Williams, Charles Demuth, Megan Sapnar

Screen capture from "Figure 5 Media Series," by William Carlos Williams, Charles Demuth, and Megan Sapnar. Photograph of a fire engine overlain with a transparent number 5.
Open “Figure 5 Media Series,” by William Carlos Williams, Charles Demuth, and Megan Sapnar

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