Composing Poetry with Predictive Text

Studio 360

Where would Shakespeare be without iambic pentameter? Mondrian’s paintings without his squares? Taylor Swift without the repetitivepop refrain? It’s one of the great paradoxes of creativity: structure breeds inventiveness. In other words, creatives think better inside the box rather than outside it. And, as WIRED wrote in a piece on this topic back in 2011, “the best example of this phenomenon is poetry.”

Lucky for us, iOS8 offers up acreative constraintfor thedigital age couched in the software’s predictive text feature. And thus, predictive text poetry was born — write a poem using only the words that pop up in that little pull out bar above the keyboard on your iPhone.

Headover to the internet to find countless Tumblrand Twitter accounts devoted to the art form. And don’t missJohn Mayer’s tweets from September 25th, 2014. He took a very deep dive down the predictive text poetry rabbit hole.

Predictive text poetry limitsyourword choice, leaving youfree to experiment with structure, punctuation, spacing, line breaks, enjambment — you name it. The poet behind this Tumblrbegins each line with the same word, then takeseach phrase in a different direction.

Is predictive text poetry gimmicky? Sure. Lazy? Probably.But in a time when Candy Crush is king, predictive text poetryoffersa smartphonediversion that’s a little more creative, with aremarkably high payoff to effort ratio. It’sversatile, quippy, random — everything the internet loves. Before you swipe left, think of taking 20 seconds of your day to compose a poem. You can tweet it at us @sideshow.

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