Not My Favourite

I was very uncertain about this assignment. Though I am curious about what AI can manage when it comes to creative writing, I am very much opposed to AI being used in this way for creative work. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try using the recommended Copilot.

My first prompt was “Can you please write me an poem about UNBC from the point of view of an exhausted undergraduate student who just wants to leave homework behind and run off into the woods to rest.

I'm tired of the endless papers and exams
The deadlines and the stress
I wish I could escape this academic mess
And find some peace and rest

I long to wander in the woods of UNBC
To breathe the fresh and fragrant air
To listen to the birds and the breeze
And forget about my cares

I want to see the sun set over the mountains
To watch the stars come out at night
To feel the warmth of a campfire
And sleep under the moonlight

But I'm stuck in this concrete prison
With books and screens and noise
I have no time for nature's beauty
Or for simple joys

Maybe someday I'll be free
To follow my heart's desire
But for now I have to study
And hope I don't expire

Maybe it is just my bias, but this feels wrong to me. The word choice in particular I disagree with. It reminds me of a child use big words they don’t fully know the meaning of. The words used do not always fit in the context that they are used. And ‘expire’? Really? I also do not like that the program chooses to use ‘UNBC’ in the poem. I found that the program seemed to insert specific words I had used instead of synonyms that better fit the flow and feel of the poem. I then prompted “That’s good, but can you write the poem without specifically addressing UNBC.  Can you also include wanting to go with friends off into the woods.” I also was not happy with the result. The way the the program fit the prompts into the poem was awkward.

I'm sick of the endless homework and tests
The pressure and the strain
I wish I could leave this boring place
And never come back again

I dream of running with my friends
Into the forest green
To explore the trails and the lakes
And see what wonders we can find

I want to laugh and sing and play
To feel alive and free
To enjoy the simple things in life
That make me happy

But I'm trapped in this dull routine
With no time for fun or adventure
I have to work and study hard
And follow every rule

Maybe someday I'll break away
And live the way I choose
But for now I have to endure
And hope I don't lose

Next I prompted, “Can you write me a poem about UNBC from the perspective of a student who wants to run off to rest from homework among the trees and to sit and stare at the lakes and ponds. Please make the poem feel peaceful and wholesome.” I then asked that the word ‘wholesome’ not be used in the poem. I find that AI tends to tell rather than show things in its writing. It should clearly take a grade 10 English class. I was near enough to being satisfied with the results though, and so here is the final poem.

I love the campus of UNBC
The nature and the beauty
But sometimes I feel overwhelmed
By all the work and duty

I wish I could just take a break
And run into the woods
To rest among the trees and flowers
And breathe the air so good

I wish I could just sit and stare
At the lakes and ponds so clear
To watch the ripples and the fish
And calm my mind and fear

I know I have to study hard
And do my best in class
But sometimes I need to relax
And let the time just flow
Maybe someday I'll find a balance
Between my work and play
But for now I'll keep dreaming
Of a peaceful and serene day

I tried to be as specific and descriptive in my prompts as I could including the use of words to describe feelings. Unfortunately, though the program somewhat captured the sense of the idea, it also chose to include the words themselves. Though this was interesting, I am definitely not convinced that AI should be used for creative writing. I would say that I was worried that AI would take away from human made art, but I do not believe that (at very least Copilot) is not advanced enough to make poetry that suitably emulates the work of a human being. I also played around such as making the poem not rhyme or asking the program to write the poem (based on the last prompt) in iambic pentameter.


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