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‘Him’ By Yves Pokakunkanon

The source text for this piece was selected from text messages between members of a family with a member who got diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Each sentences were divided into 4 groups:

‘he does’ – the condition and behavior of the patient.

‘he feels’ – patient’s feelings and what family members think he feels.

‘he says’ – what the patient says to family members.

‘please do’ – what family members say to each other.

Here’s the final version of the code.

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The progress from the initial and the last version is quite drastic. I started off using Tracery to create a very simple poetic form which looks like this.

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I asked several people to read and give feedbacks, most of them suggested that the repetition of the word ‘he’ somehow made them uncomfortable. I decided to get rid of the words ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his, from the source text and print out the result again.


I liked that it felt less forced this time without the word ‘he’, but I also think it lost the tension that it had before. I asked people to give feedback again and Winnie suggested me to try repeating each sentence more than one time to increase the tension. I created a function that will repetitively print out first 2 words of each sentence and add next 2 words each time until it prints out full sentence. (Sorry for the confusing explanation! It will be easier to understand if you see the example below!)

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I really loved the results this time. I also decided to add one more which consists of 3 adjectives. These adjectives are the synonyms of  a randomly selected word from the first paragraph of the piece.

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Here’s the link to the code.

Please see the top of this post for the results!

RWET: Assignment 6


I had huge writer’s block and couldn’t come up with a good topic for this week assignment. I think one of the reasons is because i still don’t fully understand the concept of word vector and the way it works yet? I decided that for this week I’d try experimenting with new methods and focus on understanding each tools rather than the concept. I decided to go over week 9 and week 10 materials one more time. I followed the tutorials and used week 3 work and Lana Del Rey’s lyrics as source text this time.

I reworked my mashup lyrics from week 3 with synonym lookup. Now the program is rewriting lyrics that have the original words replaced by their synonyms (Which was I wanted to do before but I didn’t know how). I also brought in more lyrics from my favorite artist and used CMU rhyming dictionary to create new poems. For this one, I would have to revisit this piece again and make sure that it wouldn’t pick the same word as a rhyme because most of the results it gave me was two same phrases over and over.

Please see some of the results I like on the top of this post.

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Link to code

RWET: Assignment 5

A letter from past me to future you

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by Yves Pokakunkanon

I found some old letters from my girlfriend while cleaning the apartment and I thought they would be a suitable source for this week assignment. I chose to use the first one and the last one just because of how contrasting they are to each other. The first letter was dated 01/2017 and the last one was dated 02/2018. She hasn’t sent me any more letter since then. I won’t go into details or post the letters here, but in summary, the first letter was just her telling me about her day and the second was her expressing what she felt about our relationship.

I decided to use Markov model and chose a very simple structure code that we covered in class a week before. My computer decided to die and refused to turn itself back on while I was working on the code and in the end, I did not have enough time to do something complicated. I will try to revisit this week assignment again when I have time.

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I first set state_size to 2 but after it kept giving me results with very little variations I decided to change state_size to 1 and it got way more interesting. Most of the results were more like scribbles than real sentences but once in a while some really funny results also showed up. I picked some of the ones I like the most and rearranged them into a new letter that you can see on the top of this post. I will write them down on paper and send it to my girlfriend later.

Link to code

RWET: Assignment 4

Our Modern Love Story

– Yves Pokakunkanon

This assignment is heavily inspired by ‘So Sad Today: Personal Essays by Melissa Broder’. In one of the chapters, the writer describe her relationship with the person she was seeing at that time in a very sarcastic way. I really enjoyed this kind of writing and I think this is the chapter I like most out of the entire book. Below is some of my most favorite quotes from that chapter. They are concise yet powerful.

“I’m in love with you and you don’t want anything to do with me so I think we can make this work: a love story.”

“Let’s pretend you are capable of being who I think I need you to be: a love story.”

“We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together in my head: a love story”

Melissa Broder, So Sad Today: Personal Essays

I wanted to create something similar to this. Something that explores how human mind work in certain situations. Something that sounds contradicting yet reasonable in some ways.

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My poetic form is called ‘How Our World Works In A Weird Way’. It consists of 5 lines in total. The first line is a statement, followed by a conjunction, an argumentative statement , the conclusion/consequence of the first two statements and ends with the title of the poem.

The source text for line 1 and line 3 are the compliments and complaints my girlfriend and I gave each other over text messages. And for conclusion (line 4), the phrases are mostly selected from my favorite Lana Del Rey lyrics. I used Tracery this time and I think it made it so much easier and faster to code this style of poetry generator.

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I first planned for each poem to have 3 sets of line 1-4 before putting the title at the end. I did get some interesting results from it. However, after experimating and playing around with construction and line break, I decided to not go with the repetitiveness and removed the loop (for i in range(3)).

I also removed some of the words I felt was sabotaging the mood of the whole poem. For instance, I removed ‘That’s why’ in the begining of line 4 and ‘also’ in line 3. (Below is the example of how the poem was constructed before any adjustments)

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I am very happy with the outcome this time! Some of the poems has this very dry yet satisfying humor to it. I’m eager to play around with another set of source text and see how the result will be!

Link to code.

RWET: Assignment 3

Trouble So Strong

Lyrics mashup sampled from Love So Strong by The Lovelites, Trouble by Halsey and Move On by City Garden Movement

By Yves Pokakunkanon

When I play my kind of jam. You say it’s intolerable.
When you put your favorite songs on speaker. I ask you to turn it off.
How about we play them all so everyone can be happy?

For this week assignment. I decided to do a lyrics mashup from three songs by three different artists. I asked my girlfriend to pick one of her favorite songs that she thinks best describes our relationship. I did the same but intendedly chose something that is very different from hers. The 3rd song is the song that we both listened to a lot in the beginning of our relationship. Since these songs are all very different in both meaning  and writing style aspect, I did not expect consistency or finesse from the result but was more curious to see the change in context.

I use .split(“\n”) to turn the first two songs into two lists of phrases (love and trouble) and .split() to create a list of words (moveon) from the 3rd song. I then combined the first two lists, pulled out 15 elements randomly with  random.sample() and put them in a new list (ourrelationship). My initial idea was to pick one random words from each elements in the list (ourrelationship) and replace them with words from another list (moveon). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to implement for loop function to do what I wanted. I also learned that you can only use .replace() with strings and not lists. In the end, I decided to just repeat the code several times and create different variables for every single one of them.

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I also learned that you cannot use the word all or every in your variable name when you are doing for loop. This is what happened when I tried to change the word heartbreak to everyheartbreak and allheartbreak.

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You can find some of the results on the top of this post.

Link to code

RWET: Assignment 2

Excerpts from that one time we did not get into a fight

– Yves Pokakunkanon

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Continuing from the last assignment, I wanted to do some analysis on the conversation I had with my girlfriend a week ago. We’ve been having small nonsense arguments every single day after that night. Maybe knowing that no one is recording or listening to us can somehow make me feel like I can be as cocky and mean as I want? I knew that I was being very careful on that day. I talked way less that I usually do. I also didn’t snap when she ignored me.

I went back to the conversation and was trying to look for the point that could have turned wrong and could have led us into an argument. After going through the whole thing again, it surprised me how, with all those small house chores talk, we didn’t call each other out on being irresponsible even once. We had so many chances to start a fight but we didn’t. If I rewrite phrases with the vocabulary from that conversation, can the results sound like something a couple would quarrel over? Can they be topics for us to discuss next time we talk about relationship improvement?

I listed out the vocabulary we used that can come off as negative and has potential to lead us to a disagreement.

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I used the techniques from both A House of Dust and Taroko Gorge to create my poetry generator. I simply print() out the output which has been generated with random.choice() function. I use += to put S after the verb that follows singular nouns, unfortunately this doesn’t always work in my case. Sometimes S also appears after I or you. I intentionally break the phrases in separated lines for my own visual satisfaction. I like that it looks more dramatic this way.

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As expected, most of the output doesn’t really make much sense. They all sound like random words jumbled together. I would have to improve the way I constructed the sentence to make them sound more natural. However, to my surprise, there were also some interesting results. I have posted some of the funny ones on the top of this post. I hope you like them.

Link to code

RWET: Assignment 1

A 10-minute-conversation between me and my girlfriend. Took place on our typical ordinary night when she just finished showering after getting home from work. Since we’ve been fighting a lot lately, I think it would be interesting to record our conversation to see who actually starts the fight. It was difficult not to cheat and make myself sound better than I actually did. Since I knew I was recording the whole thing, I was being very careful with my word. Maybe this is why we were not fighting this time?

I love how random things we were talking about are.  It’s interesting to see that some part of the conversation can be very misleading without supporting details. I’m also surprised to see that we actually talk this much in such a short time period.

I got her consent to post this on my blog and share it in class. The audio recording was transcribed and translated into English by me.

Person 1 : The trash can in the toilet smells pretty bad.

Person 2 : Come again?

Person 1 : The trash can in the toilet smells pretty bad.

Person 2 : Right… Because it’s

Person 1 : (cute voice) Because it’s your period right? Your period~ Because it’s your period~ Because it’s your period dancing in our toilet. Imagine this. What if your sanitary napkins roll out of the trash can at night and then they all start dancing like this.
Person 2 : Are you crazy?
Person 1 : Don’t forget to put the trash out tomorrow.
Person 2 : What if I forget again?
Person 1 : I’ll hit you to death.
Person 2 : Are we gonna fight again?
Person 1 : No I’ll just spank you. I need to pack my lunch for tomorrow but I’m too tired.
Person 2 : Pack this. I’ll give you some. (Point to Chinese food on the table)
Person 1 : I was thinking about packing curry.
Person 2 : So you don’t want this?
Person 1 : If you insist. Ok.
Person 2 : Come on. I know you actually want this from the start. You don’t wanna eat curry.
Person 1 : Because I’ve having curry for 2 days straight. Where is my cup? Oh you washed my dish for me? Thank you. Why are you so nice?
Person 2 : Because I am nice.
Person 1 : You are super nice. By the way, Amp and Kate want to have dinner tomorrow.
Person 2 : Where?
Person 1 : Our apartment.
Person 2 : Why?
Person 1 : They just want to.
Person 2 : Ok.
Person 1 : Not sure if they will actually come though.
Person 2: When will you get home tomorrow?
Person 1 : Not sure. I think Amp is planning to stay at her boyfriend’s place tomorrow.
Person 2 : Oh because his place is close to ours, right?
Person 1 : Yes, couple blocks away.
Person 2 : Where is it exactly?
Person 1 : Near Lorimer station. His place is really nice. It’s a new apartment with not to many units. And he has his own small backyard. Just like Japanese apartments.
Person 2 : Oh wait you already took a shower?
Person 1 : Yes because I’m tired.
Person 2 : I’m tired too. I didn’t sleep much last night so I’ll go to bed early today.
Person 1 : What is that thing on the floor.
Person 2 : That’s my shirt. Didn’t know I dropped it. Sorry.
Person 1 : I’m heating this up. Chilling~ Going to a Spa~ Hot stone~
Person 2 : Make sure that there is no food stain in the microwave before using it.
Person 1 : The microwave stinks.
Person 2 : Because I heated up Gapao (Stir fried meat and basil) this morning.
Person 1 : Was it good? The Gapao I made. It’s good, right?
Person 2 : It’s ok.
Person 1 : I ate some today and it was good.
Person 2 : Was it because you were hungry?
Person 1 : No, it tastes good whether I’m hungry or not. Let’s look at the cookbook. What should we make this weekend? By the way, I’m going to a party at Maprang’s house on Saturday. Her place is really nice.
Person 2 : Who’s that?
Person 1 : Maprang. You met her before. The tall girl with dark skin.
Person 2 : I don’t think I know her.
Person 1 : She went to my undergrad. You met her before. When we went out to drink.
Person 2 : I have no idea who she is.
Person 1 : Maybe you didn’t get to meet her that day because you left early.
Person 2 : Well how would I met her if she came after I left?
Person 1 : Let’s go to Brooklyn Museum on Saturday? I wanna see Frida’s work. Have I taken you there before? I remember taking you to the Mets. I also wanna take you to the Frick. You can take nice photos there.
Person 2 : Are you take photos for me?
Person 1 : Sure. And I checked the weather. It will be sunny on that day.
(Microwave sound)
Person 1 : I’m going to a Spa now. Hot stone Spa~ Hot stone Spa~
Person 2 : Are you taking a selfie?
Person 1 : I’m sending it to my mom.
Person 2 : Have you talk to your mom recently?
Person 1 : I just did.
Person 2 : You mean on Saturday? What about after that?
Person 1 : She’s taking grandma and grandpa to see doctors. You wanna try facial masks? Wait, you can’t. Your skin is too sensitive.
Person 2 : Of course I can! I want to!
Person 1 : The are in the fridge. Wow this is like I’m in a real Spa.
Person 2 : That looks comfy.
Person 1 : What is that noise?
Person 2 : Someone moving their furniture?
Person 1 : Why would they do it at this time of a night? People are sleeping.
Person 2 : Or maybe they are fighting?
Person 1 : Yelling at each other like us? No, I mean, like you yelling at me?
Person 2 : Why would you say that?
Person 1 : Because you are the only person yelling.
Person 2 : What….