ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

Translations of an Algorithmic Love Poem

Katherine Swett

"But one day [Wolf] found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The lamb that belonged to the sheep... began to follow." —Aesop's Fables

Output 1

I follow Wolf. My eyes.

One day, my arms full
and your skin of wolf words—

skin the natural language ability—

they called me the wolf in the sheep
because [I'm] one dimensional
semantically and dead.

I of no shepherd
comprehending my eyes

Output 4

One day I found
[the] size of words.

Neither Living nor dead,
Wolf gave me hyacinths.

I, neither Living nor dead,
[have] great difficulty
in processing.

Still they called me "[she]
whose true skin, the wolf,
is mostly based on nothing."

Looking into the lamb,
I could not. And my eyes failed.

Wolf succeeded in deceiving
me, whom he fashioned into,
[or out of], his own coat.

Output 3

I knew nothing,
looking the skin of
the natural
language ability.

your arms skin
of a sheep, patterns
beautiful as correlations,
and your hair

wet meal of her
many lambs

Output 5

So leading, the heart began
to follow the size of words.

They called me the sheep, and
They called me the wolf.

Put it on, [the size].

And your tailored hair
wandered among the sheep.

I [was] the wolf patterns
feeding on the heart of light,

a meal of your many fundamental questions,
arms full and your—

Katherine Swett received her BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech in 2009 and an MFA in poetry at George Mason in 2012. She is now pursuing both her passion for language and science through a Neuroscience fellowship at Vanderbilt University, in which she studies neural processing of children with reading disabilities.

As part of her series "Translations of an Algorithmic Love Poem," these pieces were generated with the help of a Matlab script written by Katherine, which uses a random number generator to collage different input texts. Sources include Aesop's "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", excerpts from T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", and excerpts from EG Altmann et al., "On the origin of long-range correlations in texts".

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem

Jude Marr

Bill Neumire
   Water Cycle #1: To Whom
       Shall I Return

   Water Cycle #3: I Thought
       There Would Be More

Laura Madeline Wiseman
   Or To Release Death

Magus Magnus
   Payload Dump (3 excerpts
       from drone: poetic monologue
       for monotone

Aimee A. Norton
   Apache Code Errors
   No Sin Like Arson

Katherine Swett
   Translations of an
   Algorithmic Love Poem

Amy Schreibman Walter
   Online Dating Inbox

Paul Strohm
   Our Interregnum

KJ Hannah Greenberg
   The Sanctity of Lists
   Assistance with Quickly
       Becoming Unbearable

Susan L. Lin
   When You Are Sleeping

Ana Maria Caballero
   Another Airport Poem

Ann Skiöld
   Emily Dickinson Did Not
       Drive A Car

Jeremy Dixon
   In Retail (xxii)

Pete Coco
   Especes Perdue

Jessica Joy Reveles
   Surviving the Desert