On Generative Poetry: Structural, Stylistic and Lexical Features
This paper deals with key aspects of the Oulipo and Dada methods and their implementation in electronic generative poetry. Oulipian constraints such as acrostics, tautograms, simple numerical limitations and combinatory algorithms are easily integrated into digital environments. The analysis of structural, lexical and stylistic peculiarities of generative poetry is illustrated by permutational schemes (Poem.exe by Liam Cooke, Book of all Words by Józef Żuk Piwkowski), combinatory patterns (Frequency by Scott Rettberg) and syntactic templates (Dizains by Marcel Bénabou, Triolets by Paul Braffort) of electronic poems. Many combinatory and permutational electronic poems present technologically improved versions of the Oulipo constraints and Dada techniques such as open-form poetry and the use of image and graphic components in its structure. However, the electronic environment gives them an ambivalent status. Although the surface of an electronic poem looks open and random, its inward structure is preconfigured to use established parameters.
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