There’s a bot for everything these days, and I was delighted to discover this week that someone much more technically savvy than I developed a bot that can scan any Twitter account and write a sonnet with its tweets. I took it for a spin to see how many English majors it could outdo.
First, I tested it on my personal Twitter:
Unfortunately, “On tonight” was harrowingly reminiscent of several pieces from my Intro to Poetry portfolio (Andy Grace, please accept my apology). Also, this was a nice reminder to tone down the bashful smile emojis in my tweets. But I was impressed by the bot’s ability to string my internet ramblings together in a somewhat coherent way. Some stanzas even get a little deep.
This poem put me right back in a Kenyon creative writing class mood, and I was feeling ready to sink my teeth into some more in-depth analysis.
So, I asked the bot to look at the college’s official twitter, @/KenyonCollege:
I was really struck by this poem in several ways, specifically the author’s use of ellipses. Especially in the last stanza, I think the author used the punctuation to their advantage to really capture the uncertainty and frustration of being on campus this semester. To this end, I think the speaker of the poem was the collective voice of the student body whose “Current mood” (Kenyon College line 8) is a little burnt out. The second stanza in particular really captures the pendulum swing of highs and lows that Kenyon students have been feeling even on a day-to-day basis as so much fluctuates in our nuanced and changing world. I do wish the speaker of the poem had gone into a little more detail about the “he” mentioned in the title of the poem. The tone of this poem feels very slow and mysterious so I think we don’t necessarily need to know what he “got” as the title suggests, but I think the impact of the mystery would be greater if we had a better sense of who “he” was or is.
Other than that though, I think this is a really great piece and I’m excited to see what your final rewrites look like, Robot!