Donald Trump might have many qualities, but even his most fervent fans wouldn’t describe him as poetic. Trump usually speaks in gruff, short sentences, and his tweets are pretty much more of the same — angry invectives against his many enemies, insults at his political opponents, and rants against the media. His vocabulary, too, is something that wouldn’t look out of place on a grade school paper. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a site is attempting to find beauty where there might be none — it’s attempting to create poems out of Trump’s tweets.
Poetinchief.com uses algorithms to create limericks out of snippets that Trump has tweeted. Trump was prolific on Twitter even before he ever became President, and has over 35,000 tweets to his name. The site searches through his many tweets, and then randomly puts together lines which rhyme in a AABBA rhyming scheme, resulting in some truly glorious limericks. Sample this:
Wow, some new and even greater polls thank you!
Crooked Hillary has no clue!
If he lives, prosecute!
@tanwexy I like you too.
Or this one:
If they don’t, there will be hell to pay.
Turnberry and Trump Aberdeen blow it away!
He will do really well.
You look guilty as hell!
But ZERO on ObamaCare mess no way!
PoetInChief was created by two Canadian university students, Maklane deWever and Heydon Faber. Their algorithm splits up Trump’s tweets into fragments, counts syllables, and then randomly matches sets of five rhyming lines into limericks. The end results are unexpected and frequently hilarious, but deWever and Faber don’t see the site as a political tool. “We’d rather not get our own political views involved. After all the point of the site is not to revolve around political opinion – but to be something fun and lighthearted,” the duo told OfficeChai.
This isn’t the first time a computer scientists have turned to Trump’s tweets dataset to have some fun. Earlier this year, a Google engineer had built a stock-picking bot that predicted how stock prices would react when Trump mentioned specific companies in his tweets, and had managed to earn annualized returns of 59%. PoetInChief isn’t making anyone any money, but will probably the brighten the literary world with works from from an unlikely contributor — Donald Trump.
[This post has been updated to include details of how the algorithm works.]