Friday, December 30, 2022

Playing with AI Poetry

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Patricia at Reverie for Roundup.

So, I've been hearing so much about art that can be created using AI, that I decided I wanted to play around some with poetry. More specifically, I wanted to know: Can ChatGPT write a decent poem?

Here's what I found out:


When I typed in, "Poem about horses," here's the poem that was generated in oh, about five seconds:

Horses, majestic beasts of grace and might, 

Their manes flowing in the wind, a beautiful sight.

With hooves pounding the earth, they run with wild abandon, 

Their powerful muscles rippling, a sight to expand on.

Their eyes, intelligent and wise, seem to look right through you, 

As if they know your secrets, and all that you do.

They are creatures of the wild, yet also tamed by man, 

Loyal companions, and a joy to understand.

So here's a little poem, to honor these fine steeds, 

May they always run free, and fulfill all their needs., the AI program thinks poems should rhyme, yes? And it included some basic facts about horses, which is nice... though the poem itself is kinda clunky (as many forced-to-rhyme poems are). I can see a middle school student turning this in, can't you?

Since I've been writing a lot of haiku lately, I decided to try, "haiku about the new year." After I got the first response, I hit the "regenerate" button, just to see what would happen. The results reveal one of the weaknesses of AI poetry. Read on!

Haiku #1:

Fresh start, new year

Hope and possibility bloom

Leaves of the future

Haiku #2:

A new year begins

Fresh starts, new hopes and dreams

Leaves of the past fade

Haiku #3:

Fresh start, new year's dawn

Resolutions, hope, and renewal

Leaves of the past turn

Haiku #4:

Fresh year, new start

Leaves of the past fall away

Embrace the unknown

Okay. What's up with the "leaves?" Is this the only nature image that AI can find to fit my search requirements?  Also, each one includes rather mundane words like, "fresh" "year"  "new" "start" "hope" "past"... 

I do love the message of Haiku #4. Yes, language is expected, but it works. 

Which is your favorite?

So, my conclusions are these

1. Poetry still needs humans.
2. If a poet is feeling stuck, AI might be a useful tool to get the creative juices flowing. 

3. One way to "check" on the uniqueness of our own poems might be to run an AI chat like this one. If our poem-draft has these messages or these particular words, we might need to dig a bit deeper.

And now, I give you my final ArtSpeak: Animals poem! This has been such a fun series to work on. 

I started the year writing poems about virtues, and how they might be represented by animals. 

I discovered the Picasso line drawings in summer, and that kept me going for a while. 

These last weeks have taken on an additional "red," theme, which is something I keep coming back to.... apparently I am really drawn to art that features red! 

More than half the poems I wrote were haiku (not my intention, just something that happened)! Today's poem is is both red and a haiku...and is how I'm feeling as we move into the new year. Yay!

the sky is burning
crows carry dreams on their wings
it's enough

-Irene Latham

Thank you for following along. I've very excited to see what adventures 2023 brings for all of us! xo

Thursday, December 22, 2022

All I Want For Christmas is a Poem

 Hello and welcome to Poetry Friday Roundup on this Christmas Eve eve! 

If you've got poetry to share, please leave your link below. 

And if you simply want to read all things poetry, welcome to our Poetry Friday neighborhood! All are welcome to click your way down our happy little street.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Two fun things I've done to celebrate this Advent season: 

1. enjoyed a cheese a day in an Advent Cheese box I bought at Aldi. Lots of variety, including a fun red pesto gouda that was like having an entire pizza in one bite. :)

2. read a poem a day for children in this Advent Poe-tree created by the good folks at Poetry by Heart. (Instead of one a day, you can now read almost all of them all at once!)

Hope your holiday and every day includes whatever joys make YOU smile!

For today's Roundup, I've got a special little something for you, and her name is Molly! She's a homeschool student who loves poetry, both reading it and writing it. She and I have corresponded via email and snailmail for a couple of years now, and I have loved watching her writing grow! 

This month Molly shared with me about the things she's doing to nurture her writing life, including finding a writing community of other young writers! starting a blog!...and she sent a small book of her poems. It totally made my day! And now she and her parents have graciously give me permission to share two of my favorite poems from the book with all of you. 

Your will is wonderful
You are sewing my quilt of life
I am but thread on a spool

- Molly

Many of you know I am a sucker for a textile/sewing metaphor...isn't that last line marvelous?!

A cold nose

There was a man

And he was old

He took a walk

But it was cold

Right away

Off fell his nose

It's quite a good thing

That his wife sews

- Molly

Ha! Another sewing reference, and such a fun reads like a nursery rhyme, doesn't it?

I also invited Molly to respond to some simple prompts about her experience writing this book. Without further ado, here's Molly!

The Difficult:

The most difficult challenge about writing my poetry book was probably in perfecting the poems themselves.  I would have an idea or thought that I wanted to portray, as well as a rhyming pattern that I wanted to use but would sometimes get stuck trying to find the right words.  Once I did, the rest of the poem just slid from my fingers.

The Delicious:

The best part about writing my book was in knowing that I write for God.  These poems are a way I glorify Him as well as an attempt to help the reader.

The Fresh:

Something I learned while writing this book, is that poetry is an amazing way to process thoughts.  While restricting you to using verses and potential rhyming, it gives you the freedom in being able to really put meaning and thought into what you want to portray. 


Poetry IS "an amazing way to process thoughts," isn't it?! I think it's why many of us can't NOT write. We need poetry. Writing poetry is an act of self-care, a way to grow and to deepen all the days of our lives.

So many thanks to Molly and her parents for allowing me to share these gifts. I won't be surprised at all when we see Molly's books in stores one day. 

For my ArtSpeak: Animals contribution, I decided to take a walk in the forest...just one more animal poem to go, then onto 2023! Wheee! 

lost in the forest

not knowing which is flower,

which is hummingbird

- Irene Latham

Friday, December 16, 2022

Lion and Sun (poem)


Nelson Grice, Miss Fancy,
and Irene Latham

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Karen Edmisten for Roundup.

I've heard several of you teacher-poets talk about moments with students, or former students, when you realize you had an impact on a person's life—how gratifying that is, and what inspiration to continue the work. I had a moment like that this past week! 

It happened at the Miss Fancy event, which was perfectly delightful in every single way. But the best part was talking to Nelson Grice, the sculptor of the new Miss Fancy statue. He said that while he was researching, he read MEET MISS FANCY, and it was then that he decided one of the children riding Miss Fancy's back needed to be African American. (!) 

No, that didn't happen in the real history. But this is 2022, not 1913, and we as artists have the freedom (and responsibility!) to create art that represents ourselves and our feelings and our times. I'm so humbled that a book I had a part in made a difference in someone's thinking, and that something so beautiful and lasting came out of it. Click to watch video coverage of the unveiling. (The children on Miss Fancy's back are more visible in the video than in my photo.)

For this week's ArtSpeak: Animals, I've got a lion for you! I love the name of this piece: The Two Majesties by Jean-Leon Gerome so much that I decided to steal "majesties" and put it in my poem! 

Aside: are you a fan of the Netflix show THE CROWN? This latest season has been particularly heartbreaking, perhaps because I remember all that drama playing out in real time... and the actress who plays Diana is amazing!

(Current show we're watching: Yellowstone. I have to close my eyes a lot.)

Here's the poem. Thank you for reading. See you next week, when Roundup is here at Live Your Poem!

as morning crowns

lion and sun are twin majesties

roaring, roaring

- Irene Latham

Friday, December 9, 2022

Coral Snake poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle at Michelle Kogan for Roundup.

I've got India on my mind—because our youngest son is traveling to south India (Bangalore) tomorrow. He'll be gone for three weeks, so we'll celebrate Christmas a week late when he returns. I'm excited for him and can't wait to hear about his adventures!

Tomorrow I'll be taking part in the MISS FANCY festivities at Avondale Park 10 am - 1 pm. They'll unveil and dedicate the new life-sized statue of Miss Fancy at 11 am, and I'll be there with the good folks at Thank You Books signing copies of MEET MISS FANCY. Thanks to Avondale Library, there will also be a storywalk of the book through the park. I'm excited! 

For ArtSpeak: Animals I wrote quite a few coral snake poems. I'll leave you with two that share a "river" theme! Thanks so much for reading. Thanks also for your suggestion regarding 2023 ArtSpeak theme. I think I've decided! 😊

coral snake winding
along Amazon canyon
thinks she's a river

- Irene Latham

As shadows deepen
coral snake is all muscle
and splash—red river

- Irene Latham

Friday, December 2, 2022

Maple Tree Magic (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core for Roundup.

Goodness, how can it be December?? And how can our middle son be turning 26 today?? Happy birthday, sweet Andrew! (PF Friends, Andrew was the biggest baby in the nursery that day -- 9 lbs,, 15 oz! -- and today he has the biggest heart of anyone I know! I'm so lucky to be his mom.❤️)

Today's ArtSpeak poem was inspired by this beauty in our front yard:

No wonder the following art caught my eye when I was cruising animal paintings at!

two birds disappear,
re-appear amid crimson stars—
maple’s fall magic

- Irene Latham

Just four more animal-art poems to write for this year's theme (though today's poem might be more of a tree-poem-with-birds than a bird-poem-with-tree!)...what should be my theme for next year? Thinking... 

Thanks so much for reading!