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Digital found poem

Digital found poem is a random poetry generator that randomly combines thousands of pieces of language into an infinite variety of five-stanza poems you can use as an aid to create poems of your own.

Unlike most other online random poetry generators, which avoid all the hard work of seeding the app by simply grabbing the language, unfiltered, from existing web sources, the words/phrases/clauses in digital found poem are added, one by one, by hand. It’s this herculean task of seeding the program with carefully chosen language and then programmatically controlling the flow of that language that makes these randomly generated e-poems not always grammatical–not always logical–but almost always readable and perhaps even enjoyable. To see some examples of poems generated by digital found poem, see Twenty-five examples of digital found poems. To see how the text of digital foundpoem is generated, see How text of digital found poem is generated.

Digital found poem is an extremely simple, single-file text editor (think Windows Notepad) that won’t add cookies, mess with your registry, or collect any personal information. If you download it and it’s not to your liking, you can delete it in one second with a single click.

Important: To run digital found poem, your computer must be able to run Windows. Digital found poem doesn’t work on cell phones. And it works on Mac and other operating system devices only if they can also run Windows.

For download info, see the Download digital found poem section later on this page.

Using digital found poem in the classroom

Note: Although digital found poem doesn’t contain “four-letter” words, it’s intended for a mature audience. Its dark and adult themes make it inappropriate for those too young for all that misery.

If you’re a poetry teacher and are looking for a way to spice up your poetry writing class or workshop, digital found poem may be of help. Let students play with digital found poem, shaping and molding words and lines that they see poetic potential in and discarding the rest. (Think cut ups, erasure poems, blackout/redacted poems, found poems, and so on.)* For a beginning poet, a few minutes of tinkering with text provided may be a more enjoyable and productive way to start each writing day than to have to stare at that proverbial blank page and hope that, somehow, the words will come.

* For an interesting take on the value of cut ups, erasures, etc, see the @heteroglossia blog entry for February 17, 2019, which (in part) says:

Cut up, erasure, projectivist, free verse — many of these forms and schools, by taking verse, lines, conceits from past works, force us to see the intertextual nature that constitutes all writing. When, say, one “cuts,” rearranges, or erases a poem to bring to light another, possible poem, one illuminates the infinite possibility of language, the infinity of language. The poem lying in wait behind (or above, or to the left or right of) the poem.

Digital found poem is essentially just a gigantic “cut up.” But instead of cutting up a single existing work, it cuts up a huge chunk of the dictionary and of the spoken/written English language. It then rearranges the “cut up” pieces programmatically into an infinite variety of never-before-seen stanzaic text that students (or anyone else) can peruse to find/fashion new poems that may be “lying in wait behind (or above, or to the left or right of” the digitally generated text. And what they find or fashion, they may, of course, keep and call their own.

Download digital found poem

To see digital found poem in action, download it by clicking the link below:

download digital foundpoem

Last updated October 1, 2022 (zipped size: 920 KB. Unzipped size: 3.65 MB.)

Download Note 1: When you try to download digital found poem, your browser may give you a message that says that the file may be dangerous and asks if you want to scan it. For example, on Google Chrome, you may see the following message:



You can click Send to have Google scan the file, or you can click the arrow next to Send and then select one of the following: ScanDiscardOpen nowShow in folder, or Cancel.

Download Note 2: When you run digital foundpoem for the first time, you may get a message that says:

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting.
Running this app might put your PC at risk.
More info

Click More Info and then click Run anyway.

Digital found poem has been downloaded by thousands of people for many years with no reported problems. So I’m fairly certain you won’t experience any nasty consequences by downloading this app.

Note: I update digital found poem at least once a month, usually on the 1st. Each update adds hundreds of new pieces of language, removes piece of languages that aren’t working very well, and corrects textual errors. So if you use digital found poem regularly, don’t forget to update it every few months or so, so you get the full benefit of what digital found poem has to offer.

Contact me

If you have a question or suggestion about digital found poem, please feel free to email me at rio_jansen@hotmail.com.

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