The Quinary—Permuting Meaning with Generative Poetry

Brian Evans
Proceedings of Bridges 2009: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2009)
Pages 333–334 Short Papers


This work is a simple exercise in algorithmic poetry. A generative poetry structure, the quinary, is devised and implemented. Simple lines and images are ordered randomly within a fixed structure of five groups of five lines (four lines and an image, actually). There's a boy, a girl, aspects of weather and living nature, and random images. Each time the poem is read the lines and images reorder in a random permutation. Meaning slips ever so slightly as haiku meets Hollywood in an Oulipian playground.