Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2013)

Grenoble, France
August 30-September 1, 2013

SPARSAR: a System for Poetry Automatic Rhythm and Style AnalyzeR

Rodolfo Delmonte, Ciprian Bacalu

Department of Language Studies and Comparative Cultures, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy

Any poem can be characterized by its rhythm which is also revealing of the poet's peculiar style. In turn, the poem's rhythm is based mainly on two elements: meter, that is distribution of stressed and unstressed syllables in the verse, presence of rhyming and other poetic devices like alliteration, assonance, consonance, enjambements, etc. which contribute to poetic form at stanza level.
   Traditionally, poetic meter is visualized by a sequence of signs, typically a straight line is used to indicate vowels of stressed syllabes and a half circle is positioned on vowels of unstressed ones. We also agree with this view, however, we would like to be more specific on the notion of rhythm that we intend to purport.
   In our view, a prosodic acoustic view needs to be implemented as well, if any precise definition of rhythm and style is the goal. Syllables are not just any combination of sounds, and their internal structure is fundamental to the nature of the poetic rhythm that will ensue. This is partly amenable to the use and exploitation of poetic devices, which we also intend to highlight in our system. But what is paramount in our description of rhythm, is the use of the acoustic parameter of duration. In our demo we will show haw poems can be chacterized by the use of rhythmic and stylistic features in a very revelatory manner, by comparing metrically similar poems of the same poet.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Delmonte, Rodolfo / Bacalu, Ciprian (2013): "SPARSAR: a system for Poetry Automatic Rhythm and Style AnalyzeR", In SLaTE-2013, 95.