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Robopoem: Automatic Poems and Song Lyrics

If you are asked to describe two main factors that distinguishes poetry from prose, you will probably answer rhythm and rhyme. If you have some academic background in the subject, you might elaborate further using terms like "meter", "measure", "metric", "stresses", "iambic pentameter" etc. What it all boils down to is that poets, either consciously or unconsciously, arrange the words of a poem into a rhythmic structure. One way to consciously create a rhythmic poem is to match the syllable counts in each of the individual lines that make up a poem. Or, the syllable counts might be matched in alternating lines, or in even more complex arrangements. (For example, a Japanese Haiku poem follows a very strict form: each haiku has 3 lines, the first and last line are 5 syllables each and the middle line is 7.) A syllable can be thought of as a beat: it is the natural rhythmic unit of a spoken word. In the case of song lyrics (which are really sung poems), the syllables usually sync up to the notes in a melody: For example, if you had a piano player and a singer both performing the same lead melody in a song, the start point of each syllable being sung would match the start point of each note being played. (The singer would not typically start each word of a lyric at each piano note start point because the result would probably not be rhythmic.)

The ROBOPOEM functions of Cut 'n' Mix can help in the process of writing poems and song lyrics by automatically assembling words into lines of approximately the same number of syllables. The ROBOPOEM process analyzes the contents of the main (output) text area and calculates the syllable count for each word. The words are then reordered into lines that cannot exceed the specified syllable count. Random words are also thrown into the mix to achieve the desired syllable count and rhyme the last words in each pair of lines.

To use the ROBOPOEM functions of Cut 'n' Mix: type, paste or "random fill" words into the main text area and then click one of the four ROBOPOEM buttons. Alternately, you can generate a poem with a blank output area: in this case Cut'n'Mix will get a random selection of words from it's internal database.
Robopoem Control Panel:

The ROBOPOEM control panel contains two syllable count selectors (beats per line) and two rhyming format options. Selecting the Pairs option with the same beat count for lines one and two will produce a poem made of "couplets". The Alternating structure might be used to produce a rhyming structure often found in song lyrics, where line 1 of a verse may rhyme with line 3, line 2 with 4 etc...
Available Poem Generator Types:

* As of version 5.4, the available types are selected from a drop-down in the ROBOPOEM section, NOT with the buttons displayed below.
Regular Poem This method takes the user text found in the main text area and attempts to use as much words as possible to assemble a poem which conforms to the structure defined in the settings panel.
Shakespeare Mixes user text with random picks from a custom database of words extracted from the plays of William Shakespeare.
Nonsense Mixes user text with nonsense words in the tradition of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. James Joyce was another writer who made heavy use of "nonsense" words in his masterpiece Finnegan's Wake.
Haiku Combines a mixture of user text and random words into the traditional Japanese Haiku form with 3 lines of 5, 7, then 5 syllables.


I would be happy to get any comments and questions on this topic... please email to info@cutnmix.com.