A Model of Poetic Comprehension

Kenneth Haase

This article introduces an account of aesthetic comprehension and experience together with an implemented miniature which generates analogical interpretations from a semi-automatic parse of Wordsworth’s "Lines Written in Early Spring". In our account, a poem serves as an analogy teaching machine by using formal structure to cue the formation of novel analogies. This account builds on an analogical model of comprehension previously applied to large corpora of newspaper summaries. In the miniature, an automatic grammatical and semantic analysis of the text is augmented with information about rhyme and rhythm. These formal cues allow the system to determine analogies which it would not otherwise consider. The article describes the comprehension framework, the annotated piece, and the matcher’s performance on the piece. It closes with a discussion of possible objections to aspects of the thesis or experiment and suggested directions for future work.

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