When the latest Ledbury Poetry Festival e-mail dropped into my inbox last week it set me thinking again about the ‘Found Poem’ Generator I had been working on using Python. The festival was announcing the debut of their collaboration between poet Sara Jane Arbury, Joined Up Heritage and Ledbury Poetry Festival who have created a poetic walk around eight key heritage sites in Ledbury using ‘found poetry’ comprising words from First World War poets and phrases contained in the buildings themselves.
With my current interest in ‘found poetry’, following the course I participated in on FutureLearn featuring Michael Simmons Roberts and Helen Mort, and my latent interest in Ledbury and the Ledbury Poetry Festival having lived in Ledbury for a short while, this set the thoughts rolling around in my head: what if I could extend my Found Poem Generator to create a display piece or interactive kiosk? Could this then be utilised as a poetry installation out in the real world?
So, in order to achieve this I need to:
- Output the created poems to a larger screen ie a graphical type large fonted output rather than using the console window.
- Provide two methods of running:
- Auto-generate a new poem every 5 minutes or so
- Provide buttons for user input to create poems on demand
- Package the program up to be self-contained
- Deploy the program onto some sort of platform that wasn’t my Mac laptop ie a Raspberry PI and large screen monitor or TV
- Make the program auto-run when the device is started / restarted
Further enhancements could then be:
- Use a text / csv file to load in the words and lines of the poems rather than the hardcoded ones used currently
- Add buttons to the display to allow user interaction – people viewing the installation could interact with it by asking for poems
- Check the first letter of each line to capitalise it for poems and un-capitalise it for haikus, and add commas to the end of lines if they are missing or remove for haikus.
Subscribe to my blog and watch out for these enhancements and future posts – coming soon!