Yesterday I posted about asking the new Microsoft ChatGPT to write a blog post about art journaling. I felt a little sad that it could produce a decent freshman essay. But then Amy at https://brotmanblog.com/2023/01/10/time-for-a-break-2/ challenged me to ask it to write a poem. So I decided to have it write poems in the styles of different poets. I asked for a poem about a cat in the styles of Rupi Kaur (who writes simple little ditties that are very popular on Instagram), Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, and Luanne Castle (haha). [You see that haha right there? ChatGPT would never do that!]
I am going to post screen shots of the results, although I don’t expect you to actually read them all. But skimming them might be eye-opening as to how AI works.
First here’s Rupi Kaur.
If you know what Rupi Kaur verse looks like you know this doesn’t look like her writing. But there are hints that AI is trying to make this a Rupi poem: “that there is beauty / in simplicity,” for instance.
Now let’s see a Plath version.
Wow, the poem LOOKS the same, but the language is different. It’s dark and sad and somewhat angry. It doesn’t always make sense: “A hunter who leaves nothing dead.” What the heck does that mean? Again, there is no attempt to mimic the form of the poet’s work, but AI seems to have grabbed phrases from the internet and made its own mishmash with a thesaurus.
Here is in my style:
This is quite a change from the Plath. I would say it has a more inspirational tone to it. And some of the language makes me think that AI picked up on my blog posts maybe more than my poetry.
Finally, here is “I Sing Myself” Whitman.
There you go: Whitman’s poem really does sound like an ode to the cat. But same form. All the rhyming, including off rhymes.
Poetry, as we know, tends to be complex, using many poetic techniques, creating multiple “threads.” Poetry can also contain imagery and ideas that are quite idiosyncratic or personal, but rise to a new level in the poem itself. This analysis, if you can call it that, does show me more about how AI works. No way can AI do what poets do.