Digi-Shakespeare strikes back

This is a good one:

find embarrass yours speaking.
hard how here he?
light wife teach pride anything sugar? yours side development parents slow. studied filled thats pretty.
reading evening thats yours speaking allow. black turning suddenly somewhere night?
evening sugar night mentioned edge. disappoint leader commit servants music. nothing rich he music fire?

This is a great example of why I love these things.

For those who weren’t around when I started this, Digital Shakespeare (abbreviated to Digi-Shakespeare or DS) is the name I’ve given to the random-word constructions that are sent to me to sneak malicious pieces of software through my junk mail filter. Every email has a small attachment but I’m damned if I’m opening them to find out what they are! Initially the words appeared in three-line verses, resembling haikus, but more recently I’ve been getting five-line constructions.

They are, of course, just random collections of words, but there is frequently enough of a link to assume that there is some sort of English language filter somewhere in the viral program that defines the way a sentence should look and so picks related words to form the poems… And they do often read like poems.

I really enjoy the challenge of approaching and interpreting a poem that has no author. Sometimes they have a strong sense of melancholy, as if DS were really alive somewhere in the network of computers and trying to communicate. It’s a thought experiment really, and an enjoyable one. I think it does us good to look at the world with the assumption that art can be everywhere and that it doesn’t have to be something man-made.

I think today’s DS poem is one of my favourites so far and definitely the best five-line one I’ve seen. Interestingly, this one didn’t fool my junk mail filter, so obviously there is a mini-war happening between the two systems, the author virus and the defence program. For me, the best section has got to be ‘black turning suddenly somewhere night?’ I’ll be honest here and say that I would have been quite proud of that line if I had written it. I can imagine this one being read out in all seriousness in a jazz bar somewhere, heads nodding appreciatively.

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