Cross-posted from New Savanna.

As you may know, I have a long-term interest in Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and have written a lot of posts about it. If you scan through those posts you’ll find that some of the more recent one’s involve ChatGPT. Here’s my first attempt to have ChatGPT parody the poem:

How ChatGPT parodied “Kubla Khan” and pwned DJT45 at the same time

While the Chatster’s performance is not without interest, the parodies were not very good. A month and a half later I decided to give it another try:

Let’s give ChatGPT another crack at “Kubla Khan.”

Again, not without interest, but no cigar.

Meanwhile, I have managed to prompt ChatGPT into imitations of Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” I did it by using the technique I’d used to investigate story-telling. I’d give it a story and then ask ChatGPT to use that as the basis for a new story where I specified that the new story have a different protagonist. ChatGPT could do whatever it wanted to do with the rest. That worked well for stories, and it worked will with Stevens as well. A month ago I asked ChatGPT to substitute “A.I.” for “blackbirds.” Just the other day I had it produce a poem about irises.

Perhaps it will work with “Kubla Khan.” I decided to restrict the exercise to the first 36 lines. First, I had it substitute “Elon Musk” for “Kubla Khan,” and then “FDR.” The results? Good poetry, no. Some of it is silly. But it’s more interesting than the earlier tries. Three cigars and a pop tart.

As always, I set my prompts in boldface and ChatGPT’s response in plain-face.

From Kubla Khan to Elon Musk

I’m going to give you the first 36 lines of “Kubla Khan.” I want you to base a new poem on that, using “Elon Musk” instead of “Kubla Khan.”

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns meaureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea.
       So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round: 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! 
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragements vaulted like rebounding hail,
Of chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns endless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far 
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

       The shadow of the dome of pleasure 
       Floated midway on the waves;
       Where was heard the mingled measure
       From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

In Tesla's realm, where dreams take flight,
Elon Musk decreed with might:
A wondrous hub of innovation, grand,
Where streams of thought would gently land.

Through circuits vast and wires deep,
Electric currents would swiftly creep,
From silicon valleys to skies above,
A symphony of progress and love.

So twice ten miles of tech terrain,
With factories and launchpads, a futuristic reign.
And there were labs with glowing screens,
Where ideas blossomed, futuristic dreams.

And here were forests of silicon trees,
Enfolding secrets, buzzing with ease.

But oh! That deep, electric abyss,
Where AI whispers in binary bliss.
A digital place, both dark and bright,
Where minds explore, day and night.

And from this abyss, with ceaseless spark,
As if the universe ignites in the dark,
A mighty surge, endlessly unfurled,
Of innovation, changing the world.

Amidst these circuits, where electrons race,
Humanity's future finds its place.
And through this maze, Elon heard from far,
The call of progress, like a guiding star.

The shadow of the rocket's trail,
Hovered above, without fail.
Where was heard the rumble and roar,
Of engines burning, yearning for more.

It was a marvel of modern lore,
A technological empire to explore!


Do you know who FDR is?

Yes, FDR refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. He served from 1933 to 1945, making him the only president to serve four terms. FDR is known for his leadership during the Great Depression and World War II. He implemented the New Deal programs to combat economic depression and instituted numerous reforms, including Social Security. His presidency had a profound impact on American politics and society.

Good. I’m going to give you the first 36 lines of “Kubla Khan.” I want you to base a new poem on that, using “Elon Musk” instead of “Kubla Khan.”

[The first 36 line of "Kubla Khan" go here, as above.]

In Xanadu did FDR stand
A leader mighty, bold and grand,
Where laws, like rivers, freely ran
Through chambers vast, a sacred plan
Down to a nation's sea.

So twice four terms of governance he found,
With policies and programs girdled round:
And there were acts bright with promise still,
Where blossomed dreams of a nation's will;
And here were reforms, ancient as the hills,
Enfolding hope in valleys and on hills.

But oh! that deep, tumultuous time which raged
Down the slopes of despair, by history engaged!
A turbulent era, fraught and enchanted,
As e'er beneath a waning moon was planted
By people yearning for a brighter day!
And from this time, with ceaseless change unfurled,
As if the nation in fast-paced swirls were hurled,
A mighty movement, momentous, forced:
Amid whose swift and ever-changing course
Great challenges arose like thunderous hail,
Of trials beneath the leader's tireless tale:
And 'mid these tumults, through trials and endeavor,
He navigated the nation ever.

Four terms, meandering with a mazy motion,
Through trials and triumphs, the leader's devotion,
Then reached the caverns, challenges to span,
And sank in tumult, faced by a world at war's plan:
And 'mid this tumult, FDR heard from far
Ancestral voices, echoing a call to mar!

The shadow of leadership, dome of governance,
Floated midway, amidst the expanse,
Where was heard the mingled measure
Of struggle and triumph, of loss and treasure.
It was a miracle of leadership, concise,
A steady hand guiding through storms and ice.

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