from Wisconsin Public Radio
Computers permeate our lives. They scan our groceries. They entertain us. They keep us safe. But, can they write a poem? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, will your desktop be the next Bard? And, the life of the original rock n' roll rebel: the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Also, the role of poetry in the revolution in Somalia.
Charles Hartman collaborated with his computer to write poetry. He describes his experience in the book "Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry." Hartman tells Jim Fleming what it was like, and how his students react to being asked to critique the computer's work. And we hear lots of samples. Also, Alexander Stille writes about how cheap tape recorders have influenced the oral tradition of poetry in Somalia in his book "The Future of the Past." Stille tells Steve Paulson how poetry became a political weapon in Somalia's revolution. And we hear lots of examples recorded in Somalia.
Poet Patiann Rogers' work is collected in a volume called "Song of the World Becoming: New and Collected Poems, 1981-2001." She tells Jim Fleming why she finds the language of science inspiring, and says naming things is the way to notice and appreciate them. And she reads some of her poems.
Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-08-25-A
Louis Colaianni thinks anyone can be taught to speak Shakespeare. He gives Anne Strainchamps a lesson using the introduction to "Romeo and Juliet." We also hear it performed by a pro. Colaianni and Cal Pritner are the co-authors of "How to Speak Shakespeare." Also, Graham Robb is the author of "Rimbaud: A Biography." He tells Steve Paulson that Rimbaud was an extraordinary poet but a manipulative and self-destructive personality. His genius and his Bohemian lifestyle continue to inspire young artists. We hear some of his poetry read by actor Steven Van Herren.
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