• OuPoCo, the Combinatorial Poetry Workbench(L’ouvroir de poésie combinatoire)

    Mylène Maignant, Frédérique Mélanie Becquet, Clément Plancq, Thierry Poibeau (see profile) , Matthieu Raffard, Mathilde Roussel
    French poetry, Nineteenth century, Art and science
    Item Type:
    19th-century French poetry, Digital poetry, Poetry and new media, Text technology
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    Oupoco (L’ouvroir de poésie combinatoire) is a project taking inspiration from Raymond Queneau's book "Cent mille mille milliards de poèmes", published in 1961. Queneau’s book is a collection of ten sonnets which verses can be freely recombined to form new poems. It would be tempting to develop a computer-based version of Queneau’s work, but Queneau’s book is still under copyright , and it is by definition limited to its ten original sonnets. To overcome this problem, we developed the Oupoco project, aiming at proposing a sonnet generator based on the recombination of a large collection of 19th century French sonnets. The challenge is thus more complex than the one proposed originally by Queneau since our sonnets do not have the same scansion and rhyme. From this point of view, even if the project is intended to generate new sonnets, it is largely based on the development of analysis tools able to identify the scansion, the rhyme and the structure of the original sonnets. Oupoco is currently based on a collection of 788 sonnets from 16 authors from the 19th century, and this database is regularly expanding. Each sonnet is encoded in a XML format along with related metadata (a TEI version of the database is available). We also had to provide a formal representation of rhymes. The main interest of the project is to present French poetry through a new and original setting. With our system, poetry is not any more just a literary genre, but a dynamic object that can be manipulated and experienced. For lots of people, poetry is seen at best as something related to school years, at worse as something boring and uninteresting from the past. A series of “side products” have been produced from the project, including a website, a bot posting on Twitter and a “poetry box” (la boîte à poésie), a portable version of the original idea that can be demonstrated in public events. Through these devices our goal is to reach a wider audience and engage people to reconnect with poetry.
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    Online publication    
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
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    Item Name: mp4 oupoco-dh2020.mp4
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