Pondering an Ending Spring

by ‘Siddiq Islam’

Maybe the golden peal of summer flowers,
The friends of God and earth, are formed to fall,
A fire in some great coming spring of snow.

Your dream was but a passionate loneliness,
Broken as the sweet noon of morning light.
Your fate is closed in a wrath
That flowers upon the fervour of the night.

Transcending the beams of some bright monsoon sky,
Our moon, our dance, may stay and adore the deep homily,
May stand on the veil of faith over death.
The freedom of their darkness dies away.

I, Siddiq Islam, did not write this poem. Not really – in fact, nobody did. These lines are the product of an AI who took in reams of poetry and generated what it thought was human.

And did it fail? The expressions spewed out were wildly variant in subject and tone. The jumble required my decimation and rearrangement to curate the ‘poem’ above – and even the remains are inharmonious – but whether you wish to project sense onto the ramble is your choice. I enjoy that an algorithm formulated such sentiments: that God’s beautiful flowers are doomed to seasonal death and that the eternal moon may symbolise hope in life.

Profundity or nonsense, the question remains as to whether this is art. Must art be intentional, or can I trip and fall and create a masterpiece? Must art be human, or are God’s nature and the accidental wonders of the sky above works of art themselves? Must art be elegant, or are these dissonant robot stanzas, are the doodles scribbled by a child, are the brutal dynamics of life and relationships equivalently beautiful? I argue that life is wonderful. Life is art.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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