Who Grabbed My Gorge

Tuesday 26 July 2011, 2:37 pm   ///////  

In January 2009, I wrote a very short (one page) Python poetry generator that creates a limitless nature poem each time it is run. I wrote this generator, “Taroko Gorge,” mostly at Taroko Gorge National Park in Taiwan, finishing it on the plane afterwards. I later ported it to JavaScript so that it could be easily run in a Web browser.

It seems the gorge goes ever ever on. The code from “Taroko Gorge” and the form it defines have been appropriated a few times. Here are five poetry generators that use the code from that project and replace my text with different, and often much more extensive, language:

“Tokyo Garage” by Scott Rettberg, 2009. [Output from “Tokyo Garage” read aloud by a pedantic machinima clown.]

“Gorge” by J. R. Carpenter, 2010. [Announcement of “Gorge.”] [Output appears in J. R. Carpenter’s GENERATION[S], Traumawien: 2010.]

“Along the Briny Beach” by J. R. Carpenter, 2011. [Announcement of “Along the Briny Beach.”]

“Toy Garbage” by Talan Memmott, 2011.

“Yoko Engorged” by Eric Snodgrass. 2011. [Announcement of “Yoko Engorged.”]


  1. Wonderful! Gorge-ous! There’s this one as well: Whisper Wire: http://luckysoap.com/generations/whisperwire.html

    Comment by J. R. Carpenter — 2011-07-26 @ 3:19 pm
  2. Oops! I should have known I’d left something out. Thanks for that one, and for reminding me about it.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2011-07-26 @ 4:57 pm
  3. […] poem uses Nick Montfort’s streamlined and nimble┬áTaroko Gorge code (a JavaScript port of a poetry generator originally written as a 1k Python program). All I […]

  4. […] Montfort wrote the poetry generator Taroko Gorge in January 2009. Since then, others have appropriated his code and made their own “gorges.” As part of the experimental […]

  5. Another remix of Taroko Gorge for the taking: Takei, George.

    Comment by Mark Sample — 2011-09-21 @ 3:21 pm
  6. […] creation. Written in Python and ported into JavaScript for the web, it’s inspired a series of imitations (which Montfort hilariously strikes out in his hyperlinks to on the right margin of the […]

  7. Ireland’s oldest digital Poet: John Patrick McNamara. Admonishs his ID while offering a spiritual remix in ‘Take Ogre” http://www.digitalvitalism.com/poems/take_ogre.html

    Comment by Michael J. Maguire — 2013-09-09 @ 6:13 am
  8. […] “Take Ogre” by John Pat McNamara, remixed Febuary 16, 2013 on Achill Sound, Ireland. The piece trades off the images of the natural world for language of the mind, and sports a nice recursive background. (View source for some further information in a comment up top.) Thanks to publisher Michael J. Maguire for noting this remix in a comment here. […]

    Pingback by Post Position » Remix Redux — 2013-09-10 @ 11:35 pm
  9. […] to take a look at two helpful (and short) discussions of the piece, the first by Montfort, found here, and the other found at this entry on I ? E-Poetry. Please take your time with the various […]

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
(c) 2018 Post Position | Barecity theme