The Ghost of T.S.Eliot

Photography by Filip Wolak


The Ghost of T.S.Eliot displays a set of generated poems, alongside headphones playing a reading of the poems. With new advances in machine learning a computer becomes more and more creative in its own right. This project explores whether an artist can continue eternally; not only through pre-existing works, but new works, created by using machine learning. This piece used a Recurrent Neural Network trained on T.S.Eliot’s poetry to generate new, unseen poems.

Example Poems

Seemed at play,
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at molesey lay.
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide--
And growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.
His bucko mate, grumbuskin, long since had disappeared,
For to the bell at hampton he had gone to wet his beard;
And his bosun, tumblebrutus, he too had stol'n away-
In the yard behind the lion he was prowling for his prey.
In the forepeak of the vessel growltiger sate alone,
Concentrating his attention on the lady griddlebone.
And his raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks--
As the siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.
Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but griddlebone,
And the lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone,
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise--
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright stars

Ed candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
"jug jug" to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

More Poems