About Poets and Computers. By Dr. Stephen Gill


Stephen Gill’s feature 82 is from the interview with Dr. Peggy Lynch from Texas, USA. She is a well-known poet and edits Poetry in the Arts. A part of the interview appeared in Poetry In The Arts, No. 23, January 2001, and in Masihi Sansar (India), January 31, 2001, and also in A Selection of Stephen Gill’s Interviews, edited by Dr. Anuradha Sharma, released by Orientalia in 2011. Dr. Lynch asks if the computer was a God-sent to poets.

 STEPHEN GILL ANSWERS: A few years ago, I considered computers cold, remote, without emotions. I was not able to type even a line, except when I had to save a poem on a disk. My attitude has changed drastically. I feel now I am lost without a computer.

However, a computer is not as useful to poets as it is to prose writers, particularly to novelists. The prose writers of book-length projects can move around their pages and passages and do spell-checks as well. I use my computer for both.                                                                   

Computers are also helpful in sending query letters. There are some software which can be used for grammar check-up. I don't know how much help they can give in checking the grammatical aspect of writing. I don't use them for this purpose because I do not believe that computers can do it.

Computers may widen a poet’s community, networking opportunities, and the boundaries of knowledge. This makes sense because poems are written by people for people, and professional poets need more people to read them. Poets need also editors. This means that even editors need editors. Poets through their networking can collect this knowledge from skilled editors living in far off areas. Knowledge is power.

This power comes from the facts gathered from different sources. It is the faculty of wisdom that helps to organize these facts to pen something new, meaningful, right and of a lasting value. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge properly. Reading a literary magazine gives knowledge about poems in that magazine. It is the wisdom that retains and applies that knowledge in writing. In other words, wisdom has to do with thinking and discerning what is true and the best. According to the Bible, Creator is the source of wisdom. King Solomon is considered the wisest man who ever lived.  He asked God to give him wisdom to rule.

Computers lack this faculty of thinking, particularly the density of emotions and the grace of beauty. I believe that Creator is the source of wisdom, though efforts have been made to copy creativity, using robots to generate poems. Computers have impacted nearly every aspect of human life. Computers have impacted also artists who produce beauty.  Computers are helpful to poets, but computers are not the source of wisdom. God is the supreme artist, who has created the universe. According to Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its own time.”

About Stephen Gill:

Stephen Gill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction-writer and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations, and research papers. Thirteen books of critical studies have been released by book publishers on his works and more are on the way. His poetry and prose have appeared in nearly one thousand publications. The focus of his writing is love and peace.


www.stephengill.ca; www.stephengillcriticism.info; --twitter: Stephen Gill@poetste ‏@poetstephengill; EMAIL: stephengillgazette@gmail.com

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