Tagged for OEG Connect: Poem Portraits

What’s of interest? Poem Portraits

Tell me more!


You are invited to donate a single word.

Your word will be instantly incorporated into an original two line poem generated by an algorithm trained on over 20 million words of 19th century poetry.

The poem will illuminate your face, creating a unique POEMPORTRAIT, and become part of an ever evolving collective poem.

The coloured woven backgrounds on this site are inspired by Es Devlin’s long standing friendship and collaboration with the weaver and artist Ptolemy Mann.

POEMPORTRAITS by Es Devlin is a collaboration with Google Arts and Culture and creative technologist Ross Goodwin. It originated from a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 2017.

Where is it?: Poem Portraits


This is one among many items I will regularly tag in Pinboard as oegconnect, and automatically post tagged as #OEGConnect to Mastodon. Do you know of something else we should share like this? Just reply below and we will check it out.

I found this at first interesting. The “donation” of a word means you type any single word in a box, and the algorithm or AI or magic eightball generates a line of poetry, that it in theory adds to a single collaborative one. It’s artistic-ish, with dramatic colors, patterns generated by shared photo, the start page with scrolling lines of different “contributions”

My word was “optimism” and I get this response:

Your optimism doth close upon the sun, this me should have known

I’m no poet but that sounds a bit like word salad. And the lettuce is brown and wilted. The lines you see fly by seem to have lots of “doth” and “hath” (well it does say it’s trained on 20 million lines of 19th century poetry, doth it hath that).

Again, it was interesting to try and the overall concept seems like the kind of digital art I enjoy seeing in the world. But like much with AI, it seems like a stale comparison, like a watery approximation of poetry that just falls flat on feeling, meaning. Maybe my optimism is not for this form of expression.

Give it a try, tell me I am just full of cynicism- which pops out of the AI PoemPortrait toaster as

Our cynicism and return restore them as a breath,
Yourrespect has a perfect soul which is.

A great illustration of language use without comprehension of meaning. Here was my poem, my word was Hope.

Thanks for trying it and sharing, Teresa! Mine failed twice to use my camera image, but maybe it was just user error. The juxtaposition of the words is interesting, amost saying “hope is right under my nose” :wink:

And perhaps its my lack of poetic expertise, but it seems rather a patch of discordant phrases.