From the Boston Globe last week, I learned about the marvelous Pentametron, the robot poet of Twitter. Here’s how it works. The Pentametron is a program written by the artist Ranjit Bhatnagar (a.k.a. @moonmilk). It screens Twitter for tweets that happen to match the familiar five foot pattern of iambic pentameter. Then it pairs tweets that happen to rhyme. The happenstance is twofold, and the couplets that result are remarkably charming.
The Globe article reminds us that this poetic form has a noble tradition, going back to the Dada and Surrealist movements. Art is where you find it, and it depends as much on the attitude of the observer as anything else. But there’s something especially sweet in these fleeting telegraphic messages from the real world, caught in a butterfly net and pinned wing to wing. Try this one:
I always give the pizza guy a tip.
I’m ready for a REAL relationship!
The @pentametron Twitter account has a constantly updated list of couplets. Here’s one from tonight.
To this poetic bricolage, I decided to add another layer. Here are some of @moonmilk’s couplets with images I found via Google image search. I entered the exact text of each line and grabbed one of the top images.