Basho's Frogger and JABBER
Matsuo Basho, the inventor of Haiku, penned the following poem (translation R. H. Blyth): "The old pond / A frog jumps in / The sound of water." A few hundred years later, the concrete poet dom silvester houédard offered his rendition: "pond / frog / plop." Fifty years after that, a Zen video game appearerd celebrating one of the most famous haiku. Basho's Frogger was produced as a response to derek beaulieu and Gary Barwin's Frogments from the Frag Pool, a book of Basho translations. JABBER produces nonsense words that sound like English words, in the way that the portmanteau words from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" sound like English words. When a letter comes into contact with another letter or group of letters, a calculation occurs to determine whether they bond according to the likelihood that they would appear contiguously in the English lexicon. Clusters of letters accumulate to form words, which results in a dynamic nonsense word sound poem floating around on the screen with each iteration of the generator. JABBER realises a linguistic chemistry with letters as atoms and words as molecules.
(Source: Author's description from Electronic Literature Collection, Volume Two)
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