Friday, May 27, 2011

Do not puncture a loon

I just got a poorly machine-translated spam message in my work inbox.

Zinaida Golovnya from Tobolsk (who is 27 years old and 175 centimeters tall, with blond hair and green eyes) dreams about sensitive and strong man at once. She's very exacting, kind and open-minded, and thinks it is important to be in fit as though inner beauty if more important.

This, of course, hasn't been news since 1995.

But for some reason, five extra lines were inserted between the paragraphs, in white so that they wouldn't usually be visible unless highlighted. Put together:

But their search was all in vain;
Was ratified this way
Until he can a Maiden win.
Who, sleeping, went a little pale,
And that sad muse of mine

The lines are cut randomly from poems by Blake, Emily Dickinson, and Russian modernist poet Anna Akhmatova. It's surprisingly vivid and effective for machine assembled verse. The jarring transitions between expertly beautiful meter could almost be intentional.

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