‘The Hawks and Sparrows of Mind Distortion’

Predictive Text


I wonder how many of my readers use Predictive Text when composing directly onto their computer screen.  Some of you may already have used it, if only to play a ‘Predictive Text’ game to see what amusement can be produced by giving the computer a free run at its own Artificial Intelligence.

When working on my tablet or mobile  phone I use the  Swiftkey Keyboard.  I do from time to time find the predicted words of use, but normally I just ignore the computer’s suggestions and plough on with my own ideas.

I only recently realised that whole phrases were often being suggested and I recently found it an amusing, if potentially mind-shrivelling, exercise to let the computer take control and suggest whole passages to me  – without any of my own input.

At each typing entry SwiftKey presents me with  three options. Based presumably on its ‘artificial intelligence’ take on the countless words I had previously written, and I reproduce below the ‘essay’ it composed on my use solely of the central option, that being, I believe, the computer’s main suggestion for continuation.

I have merged together, in the sequence presented to me, the many phrases suggested for my consideration.  The passage includes no punctuation.


Predictive Text 1 (Centre Word) . . .

I have attached my resume for your reference and hope to hear from you soon as I am currently working on the same for you and I will be there for 2pm or just after the interview on the 29th November as I am currently working on the first day of my graduation course at the University of Southampton and I have been working on the project management role at the University of Edinburgh for the last three weeks and I have been working with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion to work with the team to work with the team to help with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion to work with the team to work with the team to help with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion.

( ‘The hawks and sparrows of Mind Distortion’ indeed! . . . or just a bad day at the office perhaps!? )




It sort of makes sense
But then again
There is no structure
No refrain

No easy flow
From line to line
No end in view
Merely moonshine

And yet it makes
A kind of sense
However daft
However dense

So when I write
My poetry
Why not indulge
In hyperbole

And let predictive text
Take over
Replace my muse
With robot composure.




Pastiche Poems #2

Prisma-Somerset Bruton1

A pastiche, created in PRISMA, of a painting of my own of Bruton, Somerset, England


Following on from my opening outline of Pastiche Poetry (see my blog of two days ago titled ‘Pastiche Poetry’ ), and my blog of yesterday (  Pastiche Poetry #1 ),  here are more of my own efforts (you may call them concoctions or confections if you’d rather) which I have based on the well-known opening lines of six different poets  . . .


Leisure, W.H.Davies …

What is this life
If full of care
We must still put up
With Tony Blair.

A Red Red Rose, Robert Burns …

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That blossoms in the summer;
I think of her without her clothes,
Prickly, but a stunner.

The Lady of Shalott, Alfred Lord Tennyson …

On either side the river lie 
Long fields of barley and of rye;
Oh tell me why, Yes tell me why,
This bloody river’s running dry.

Song to Celia II, Ben Jonson …

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
I’ve had enough of diet coke
I want a glass of blood red wine.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick …

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
It’s time to settle down and wed,
You’ll find it satisfying.

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Thomas Gray …

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
It’s time to tell you Mister Thomas Gray
To quit this grandiose hyperbole.