A glitch is a short-lived fault in a system. Glitch art is the practice of using glitches for aesthetic purposes by either corrupting digital data or physically manipulating electronic devices.

I would therefore define glitch poetry as follows:

Glitch poetry is the practice of introducing orthographic anomalies in poems.

My first experiment with glitch poetry is with a poem I love, L’infinito, written by Giacomo Leopardi in 1819:

Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
e questa siepe, che da tanta parte
dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
silenzi, e profondissima quïete
io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
infinito silenzio a questa voce
vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
e le morte stagioni, e la presente
e viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa
immensità s’annega il pensier mio:
e il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

Now and then, with probability of 15%, some odd characters (with ASCII code in 123–255) are introduced in the text at random positions, and with 40% probability they are randomly colored. The space between normal characters and the size of them are also decided randomly.

Next, I glitch an excerpt of another beloved poem: La pioggia nel pineto, written by Gabriele D’Annunzio in 1902:

E piove su i nostri vólti
piove su le nostre mani
su i nostri vestimenti
su i freschi pensieri
che l’anima schiude
su la favola bella
che ieri
m’illuse, che oggi t’illude,
o Ermione.

Finally, let’s introduce some glitches in Spleen by Charles Baudelaire (English translation by William Aggeler):

When the low, heavy sky weighs like a lid
On the groaning spirit, victim of long ennui,
And from the all-encircling horizon
Spreads over us a day gloomier than the night;

When the earth is changed into a humid dungeon,
In which Hope like a bat
Goes beating the walls with her timid wings
And knocking her head against the rotten ceiling;

When the rain stretching out its endless train
Imitates the bars of a vast prison
And a silent horde of loathsome spiders
Comes to spin their webs in the depths of our brains,

All at once the bells leap with rage
And hurl a frightful roar at heaven,
Even as wandering spirits with no country
Burst into a stubborn, whimpering cry.

— And without drums or music, long hearses
Pass by slowly in my soul; Hope, vanquished,
Weeps, and atrocious, despotic Anguish
On my bowed skull plants her black flag.

Here is a black-background version of Spleen with some additional glitch added using shaders:

This post was inspired by this other blog post of Kimri. Check out their beautiful website as well.

data scientist generative artist blockchain enthusiast crypto art evangelist — linktr.ee/hex6c