ChatGPT Generates A Poem About Football
Like many if not most kids in high school I was introduced to poetry in one or more of my English classes. I recall, perhaps in my junior year, having to read and study The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I never did get why the word Rhyme was spelled Rime. (Clue: the story involves getting off course and in the vicinity of the South Pole. It was not a typo.)
I think it was while studying T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men that I began to take a greater appreciation in poetry. Mr. Harris’ English class inspired me even more as he selected lyrics from some of the songs we were listening to, songs by the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and others.
In one of these classes, if not more, we were assigned the task of writing poems ourselves. Though nothing remains of the poems — or stories — I wrote as a teen, I vividly remember the opening lines of a couple of these. The first was a poem about a street gang called the Tigers. It opened like this:
The Tigers are rough, the Tigers are tough,
They’ll beat you till you’ve had enough.
I’m pretty sure I came across it several years later somehow and when I read it I had to laugh. It was so bad. As in poor.
The opening line to another poem I wrote went something like this:
Yellow walls in yellow room,
I see no beauty in this wretched place.
I was aiming for a gravitas beyond my years. The rest is lost but the image I began describing was of an abandoned room at the top of a flight of stairs in an old building, the peeling wallpaper yellowed by age.
Frankly, I’ve actually seen some pretty interesting poetry emerge from the last AI program I used (Sudowrite), though the program seemed to rapidly descend to rather dark places at times. Example here: Two Versions of The Comet, Light and Dark
I expected something better from ChatGPT, and actually had seen better from this intelligent machine. Then again, maybe the topic I asked it to write a poem about was too juvenile to be taken seriously. What do you…