Computer-driven poetry isn't a new experiment: Vijay Shesadri

By: Gizbot Bureau

Artificial intelligence can now be programmed to spin out poems but Bangalore-born Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Shesadri says computer-driven poetry isn't a new experiment but originated decades ago.

"The principals underlined in any computer driven poetry piece is interesting. They are just randomly generated but since they are randomly put together by computer doesn't mean they are new. They are fairly old.

In fact the experiment started decades back," Shesadri told PTI in an interview on sidelines of the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival. Stating that poets resorting to computers to help them write "mash-ups" or "flarf poems" is not a new development technically but historically.

Computer-driven poetry isn't a new experiment: Vijay Shesadri

"If we go back to the 50s and read poems by John Cain or of those poets who were influenced by's not the same aesthetic principle as computer driven poetry like the mash-ups or the flarf poems," he said.

The Bangalore-born, New York-based poet who had won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection, "3 Sections" believes there are interesting facts still unknown about this kind of poetry. "There are so many fascinating facts about it and especially for people who are like me at the centre of the American tradition.

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They kind of experimented in it, admired it and generated it too," said the poet who teaches in a New York college. Drawing a comparison with Jazz music, which has become common by now, Seshadri said, "I find this kind of poetry congenial and I am glad to be part of this landscape too.

But I don't think that's something I would do as far as my passion for poetry is concerned," Shesadri said. "The same goes for reading too," he said.

Source: PTI

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