Villanelle Bot: Poems Written by Twitter
August 27, 2015 5:35 AM   Subscribe

Villanelle Bot: Poems Written by Twitter
A bot that writes poems poems in the villanelle form, built using Twitter posts from random people. The poems live on Tumblr, and are announced @villanellebot.

The villanelle is a formal poem that contains several lines that repeat, throughout. This bot searches through recent Twitter posts, and selects tweets that match the poem's rather particular rhyme scheme.

I had a great time doing the research on this, and broke down a few of the better-known villanelles to see what commonalities might exist between them.

Finding a tweet that matched a specific word right at the end was a fun challenge. But even more fun was trying to come up with how to include tweets whose rhyming word occurred somewhere near the end, allowing for a line break. Though it happens at random, I like to think that these line breaks help make the poem seem a little less... robotic.

The bot favorites each tweet it uses, and on Tumblr links back to the original author's post (and also lists their name, in the footer). I tried very hard to keep the tweets as-is, with as little interference or alteration as possible. The few edits I've made include capitalizing the first letter of the tweet, adding a period at the end (if none exist), and capitalizing instances of "i" to uppercase.

The word and rhyme selections are powered by Wordnik, and posts happen about once an hour (if enough matches are found to build a full poem).
Role: programmer
posted by avoision (8 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by oakroom on August 31, 2015: The art of tweeting isn't hard to master

Fantastic.

next do sestinas
posted by cortex at 5:36 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ha! Sestinas are on my road map (though it's a longer form that my short attention span struggles with).

Had to remove the "favorites" functionality, as my account just got locked by Twitter on my commute in to work. There are only 13 distinct lines used by the poem, so I figured that'd be ok, but apparently not. I guess whatever the threshold for automated tweets is... 13 is too much.
posted by avoision at 7:55 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


These are great! And could double as children's books. The attributions at the end of each is a nice, decent touch.
posted by ignignokt at 7:57 AM on August 27, 2015


I especially like the attribution element - it's something that often gets lost when collage/semi-randomly selected bots/tools are created. Very cool.
posted by CjEggett at 4:41 AM on August 28, 2015


YES! (This is awesome.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:10 PM on August 28, 2015




This is pretty great. Double YES to attributions.

"Would it kill you if we kissed?"
posted by AteYourLembas at 7:38 PM on August 31, 2015


this is beautiful.
posted by you must supply a verb at 2:12 PM on September 1, 2015


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