Three worlds collided when I was writing poetry this week.
For the Remix project, we were tasked with finding an outside source that was not already poetry, and we had to turn it into poetry. How? You may ask? Python. That’s how. I haven’t worked with Python for an actual academic project for about two years. I took Intro to Computer Science during my sophomore year of college, and I am now a senior. I worked with Python a little bit during my junior year, but not very much.
However, Dr. Whalen definitely helped me out by walking through how to use Python, and how to use programs like Jupyter Notebooks through Azure. It was a much more friendly interface than the usual blank white screen you get when you download and launch Python from your desktop.
When trying to come up with a source for this project, my mind went crazy. I wanted to use sources that were well-known and ‘relatable,’ if you will, like I did with my Twitter bot project. I decided that I was going to use quotes from three of my favorite TV shows/movies. I went online, and typed into Google: “friends TV show quotes.” When I hit enter, I was given hundreds of lists of the “Best Friends Quotes.” I clicked on one of the links, and it didn’t disappoint. The site gave me a bunch of quotes while also telling me which character said it and in which episode they said it. I decided that one of my variables would be named “quotesfriends” and that I would create a list of fifteen quotes from “Friends” for this variable.
Next, I typed into Google “the office TV show quotes.” This search also gave me hundreds of results. I chose one of the results, and again was not disappointed. There were so many to choose from. I again made another variable which I named “quotesoffice” and I chose fifteen quotes from “The Office” for this variable. So far, I was very happy with what I had so far.
The last source I decided to use was the infamous movie (and novel), “The Fault in Our Stars.” At first, I was going to only use one and only quote from this movie/novel. This quote was going to be the one that everyone saw all over the movie posters and fan-made collages. This quote was “Okay? Okay.” I was going to have this quote used after a “Friends” quote and a quote from “The Office” had been printed. However, once I tested the code for the first time, it did not look how I wanted to. It interrupted the flow, and seemed like it was insulting the reader. I then decided to go back to Square 1. I typed into Google “the fault in our stars movie quotes.” Once again, I was given so many results, I was overwhelmed. I chose one of the results, and was again given a list. Some of the quotes in this list were not exactly what I wanted, but many were. Other quotes were full paragraphs or a few sentences, and I decided to take only what I wanted. For example, one of the quotes is said by one of the main characters: “It’s a good life, Hazel Grace.” Due to the fact that I didn’t want it to be TOO obvious that I used quotes from famous shows, I omitted the “Hazel Grace” part. I again made a third variable and named it “quotesfaultinstars.” For this variable, I also listed fifteen quotes.
Here’s what the code for the variables and lists:
Once I had all of the variables and quotes, now it was time to bring it all together. I used the examples in class to guide me through the coding process, and ended up with a fully-functioning code! I first wrote a regular ‘print’ statement in order to print the title of my poem. I decided to title it “When Three Worlds Collide.” I figured it was pretty fitting since I brought elements from three different shows and put them all together in a poetry format.
Once I had the ‘print’ title statement, now it was time to build the ‘for’ loop in order for the poem to print out a quote from each variable in each ‘stanza,’ if you will. I also imported the ‘random’ function at the beginning so that when I ran the code, I would be given different results each time. Here’s what that ended up looking like:
I officially had code that worked! I decided also that the loop would occur five times, which means that it would print out a random quote from “Friends,” a quote from “The Office,” and a quote from “The Fault in Our Stars” and then it would repeat this cycle four more times, each one with (hopefully) different quotes. I have run into issues with repetition, but maybe that makes the poem better?
Here are some examples of poems I have been given:
So… after I ran it multiple times, these are some of my favorites. Some of the lines go together (kind of?). I believe that I still created poetry because it is something abstract. It does not follow a rhyme scheme or a specific number of syllables, but I believe that poetry can be much more. For example, in class we saw an example of a poem that was literally just a list of directions on how to perform a specific task.
With the poems that my code created, I believe they are poetry. It is something that everyone can read and view differently. Is it a conversation amongst 15 different people, who don’t hear the others speaking? Is it a game of telephone where the beginning line is the original statement, and as people go down the line in telephone, the last line is what the last person interpreted the statement as? Is it responses that you would hear if you were to sit in an office full of cubicles and everyone was on the phone, and each line is a response that someone said? Is it one of those stories where someone writes the first sentence, and then passes it to the next person, and once the second person writes a sentence, they fold the first person’s sentence over and the paper makes it around the room and a story is formed that makes absolutely no sense? Or is it simply just another poem?
My Code: Remix Project
Where I found all of these quotes:
“50+ Best ‘Friends’ Quotes .” Quote Catalog, The Thought and Expression Company, https://quotecatalog.com/quotes/tv/friends/.
“30 Best Office Quotes Of All-Time For All The Dunderheads In The Room.” Edited by Molly Given, YourTango, Tango Media Corporation, 27 June 2018, www.yourtango.com/2018314733/30-best-office-quotes-of-all-time-for-all-the-dunderheads-in-the-room.
“The Fault In Our Stars Quotes .” Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango, www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_fault_in_our_stars/quotes/.
Citing the “Three Worlds”:
Friends. Created by David Crane, and Marta Kauffman, NBC, 22 Sept. 1994.
Daniels, Greg, and Ricky Gervais. The Office, NBC, 24 Mar. 2005.
Godfrey, Wyck. The Fault in Our Stars. Fox, 2014.