After a day or so of tinkering, my most recent project is complete: Gutenburg’s Snowball.
The program uses words from Project Gutenburg books (right now, I’m using books by Austen, Doyle, Kafka, and Dickens) to create the poems. Most of what it creates is complete garbage, but once in a while there’s a gem.
Nerdy details ahead: I wrote a small Python script that chews up Project Gutenburg ebooks and returns a list of word pairs where the second word is one letter longer. I then wrote a web app (mostly in PHP, with a bit of jQuery for prettiness purposes) that creates markov chains, linking word pairs together into (occasionally) human-sounding poetry.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
Full disclosure: the genesis of this project came from Paul Thompson’s post on Tumblr. All credit to him for the original idea and code.