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Poet in Chief compresses Trump tweets into transcendent limericks

The president's 30,000-plus tweets make stunning poems.


Phillip Tracy

Internet Culture

Published Jun 27, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 1:41 am CDT

President Donald Trump’s tweets are yet again the inspiration for a brilliant piece of creative software.

First there was T3’s Trump and Dump, a bot that shorted a company every time the president tweeted about them. Then came the Twitter parody account that posted Trump’s tweets onto official White House letterhead. And just a few months ago, someone made a robot that printed each of Trump’s tweets just so it could burn them.

Now the world has been gifted Poet in Chief, a website that randomly combines Trump’s tweets into rhyming limericks. Created by two Canadian university students, the site generates five verses from partial Twitter posts using the president’s more than 30,000 tweets.

“With all the negativity in politics these days we just wanted to create something fun and light-hearted,” Heydon Faber, a computer science student and co-creator of Poet in Chief, told the Daily Dot. “Poet in Chief is something you can enjoy whether or not you support President Trump.”

To start making verses, just head on over to the website and press “Generate New Poem.” You will then see a limerick, or a five-line rhyming poem, made from snippets of tweets. Press it again to see a new one, but be careful, you won’t be able to go back. If you press on any of the separate lines within the poem, you’ll be redirected to Donald Trump’s corresponding Twitter post.

It’s fun to see what the site will randomly generate, though most of the time it’s complete nonsense:

trump poem
Poet in Chief

But every now and then you’ll stumble upon a few lines that are real gems.

poet in chief
Poet in Chief
trump poem
Poet in Chief

“What you are left with is a distilled version of Trump with his tone and theme. It’s humorous and funny and sometimes you even get a story,” said Maklane DeWever, a business student and co-creator of Poet in Chief. “When you see a tweet, you don’t get the backstory. We wanted to experiment to see if you made a limerick you’d just get that unfiltered and put together.”

The two students originally wanted to make a site that would turn any user’s tweets into a haiku, but quickly discovered that Trump’s bite-sized, short sentences could easily be broken down into limericks.

“Maklane actually worked on the actual creation of the poems and I took his work and created a website out of it,” Faber said. “When you hit the ‘Generate Poem’ button, it is actually reaching into a database of hundreds of thousands of pre-generated poems and randomly selecting one.”

The creators discovered a database that has all of Trump’s tweets, active and deleted, on spreadsheets, and went about breaking them up into 20,000 sentence fragments of five to 13 syllables. They then took the last words of each sentence and matched them using a rhyming dictionary. The result is a mish-mash of Trump’s thoughts tied together by rhymes that would make Dr. Seuss proud.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Heydon Faber’s first name.

H/T the Next Web

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*First Published: Jun 27, 2017, 12:11 pm CDT