I'm learning how to use Natural Language Processing nltk tool kit to make experimental poetry and writings. I hear it's really out-of-date though.

I also know the work of Allison Parrish which is brilliant! Anyone knows what I'm talking about or doing the same? Or could share your strategies to deal with massive frustration of learning it? lol

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After your huge ration
Of NLTK frustration
May I simply offer
A rhyme from my brain's coffer?

(Good luck with locating camaraderie, resources, support via the fediverse.)

@Algot thanks a lot for your great poem and encouragement!

I hope I can find some support to keep on co-writing with machines!

@bartira I also find Natural language stuff is really complicated. I had to read a couple of general books about linguistics before I could do much. That said, even if it's not the hip new thing, NLTK is pretty capable and well documented. There are a bunch of books that use it pretty extensively.

Perhaps I'm simple but I still find some of the simpler computer writing tricks more fun and surprising than the fancier ML stuff. So the basic stuff might be enough, depending on your concept.

That said, if you want to try a library that is a bit more up-to-date, Pattern is also pretty nice and perhaps easier for getting started¹.


@praxeology thanks for this link! Some of the links for the case studies seem to be broken...damn!

What are the simpler computer writing tricks you're talking about?


@bartira I've met the developers, they are very friendly. You might be able to just open an issue and they will fix it. I think they moved the web site recently and it broke some links.

@bartira Some of the cool but not-so-complex things that I like are:
- markov chains
- N+7 and many of the Oulipo games are pretty easy to code.
- you can do a lot with WordNet like get synonyms, antonyms
- word list substitution. A classic example is Taroko Gorge by @nickmofo

@praxeology thanks for getting back. I'll check them out. Isn't wordNet like a lib you import in nltk? I'll just keep going and one day I'll get my head around it 😂 😢

@praxeology also I'm using this link for nltk which is like 15 years old or something and stopped in python 2 , I'm using 3 so I keep on getting stuck and having to spend hours in forums trying to find out how it's done annoying. Do you by any chance know another book for nltk?

Also, have you got some computer writings posted anywhere? I'd love to read it!

@bartira @praxeology NLTK is still good, and you can get the latest version for Python 3 here:

If you're open to JavaScript, there are a few interesting libraries like:

Spacy is another good Python nlp library:

@emenel @praxeology hey thanks for the comment! I think I bumped into spacy! Now I'm trying to go back to the basics of python so it's not so excruciatingly hard to understand it...but I'll get back to it soon.

I started using egrep for my literary experiments in the digital realm. Depending on what you have in mind, this simple tool could also be interesting.

egrep for Linguists

But NLTK is capable of much more complex things, of course.

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