This is certainly a lot better use of a Twitter bot than most. It’s just the sort of high-concept bot I would love to do, if only I had a decent idea for one. And I bet it’ll irritate real poets, like Cuttlefish, for its (present) flaws.
Creator Ranjit Bhatnagar built, in PHP, a script that searches Twitter’s millions of tweets an hour for any and all tweets that match iambic pentameter scansion, finds rhyming couplets, and compiles them together into a sonnet. And considering the source, there’s some amazingly deep stuff! For instance:
still haven’t eaten anything today…
Have had a lotta nicknames growing up
BOO Chelsea !! Liverpool deserve the cup !!
Blue is the Color, Football is the game…
Fame of the money, Money of the fame.
Do not appreciate the referee.
REMEMBER LOVE, REMEMBER YOU AND ME
So many babies at the outlet mall
Abundant Life Assembly welcomes all! 😀
Its fucking hailing! Hail! In fucking May!
im shirted up… and ready for the day!
Tomorrow Baby Steps and Twinkle. O/
I was invited to the city tho :)))))
i Hit the mall and spend a G today .
See!? Civilization has totally achieved its purpose, the world can end now.
The really cool thing about this, to me, is how the script figures out the scansion.
First, it strips the tweet of emoticons and ASCII art. It then cross-references each word against the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary. CMU includes stress markers, indicated, in a poetically neat turn, as ones and zeros — the line for abandonment, for example, is “AH0 B AE1 N D AH0 N M AH0 N T” — and Pentametron compares those markers against the binary line for iambic pentameter: 0101010101. If the tweet is in iambic pentameter, Pentametron retweets it; if not, it moves on.
At the start, Pentametron concerned itself only with rhythm, which made for engaging if opaque blank-verse sonnets. It now attempts to create rhyming couplets, in chronological order. (Bhatnagar acknowledges that the AABB rhyme scheme of Pentametron’s sonnets isn’t properly Shakespearean, and says he plans on eventually reworking his robo-poet to write in more complex rhyme schemes.)
If you have an inkling build a Twitter bot, I built a Python framework you can use as a starter. I’ve basically used it for nothing so far, save for scraping Mock The Movie. I’d be thrilled if it was used to build something remotely as awesome as this bot, quite frankly.