Concept

Darwinian poetry

Résumé
Darwinian Poetry was a web project created in 2003 by David Rea to determine whether "non-negotiated collaboration" could evolve interesting and intelligent poetry using a process akin to natural selection. Visitors to the site were presented with two poems, both arbitrary splicings of two 'parent' poems. The visitor was asked to select the more appealing, and poems that survived the process of voting went on to be spliced into other 'healthy' poems. Unpopular poems eventually "died". The intent was to create, in the long term, poems that were progressively more interesting and sensible. According to the introduction to the now-defunct site, the poems would, "(i)n all likelihood . . . both be abysmal pieces of nonsensical garbage. That's ok. All you have to do is read them both and pick the one you find more appealing, for whatever reason. Your decision might be based on a single word that you happen to like. It doesn't matter. Just pick whichever one strikes your fancy." The origina
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