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This article is taken from Poetry Nation 2 Number 2, 1974.

'The Computer's First Code Poem' John Kease
by a machine employed by Mr. Edwin Morgan


THE text of the poem is as follows:

The Computer's First Code Poem

TEYZA PRQTP ZSNSX OSRMY VCFBO VJSDA
XSEVK JCSPV HSMCV RFBOP OZQDW EAOAD
TSRVY CFEZP OXFRV PTFEP FRXAE OFVVA
HFOPK DZYJR TYPPA PVYBT OAZYJ UAOAD
VEQBT DEQJZ WSZZP WSRWK UAEYU LYSRV
HYUAX BSRWP PIFQZ QOYNA KFDDQ PCYYV
BQRSD VQTSE TQEVK FRARX VSOSQ BYFRX
TQRXQ PVEFV LYZVP HSEPV TFBQP QHYYV
VYUSD TYVVY PVSZZ PCYJP FRDFV QYEVQ
PJQBT CYFES JQSZP QTTQZ DQRQZ VQUSP
TFRWP VCEYJ TZQSR JYEXP QOYFV XCYJP
MCYVP CQSWF AUSVP QTSRM GYYSX VQUSP


Such a poem is, of course, intended to be appreciated and judged by other computers. It is, however, printed in non-machine language characters and it may be supposed (in absence of data to the contrary) that in this instance Man has been selected as intermediary, his place between machine and machine - an ambulant Rosetta Stone.

Accepting this role, perhaps not for the last time, we have translated the poem from the crude symbols on the printed page into the more logical form of the Punched Tape (ASC ii code).

The tape has been fed to three of our computers.

The first (a Burroughs free-standing TC 500) is a simple soul, and when it read the poem its only comment was:

Good Christian men, rejoice, rejoice:
Consign ...


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