Excerpt from BURNT NORTON
(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’)
by T.S. Eliot
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
I asked Chat GPT to tell me a story about a 5 year old child. The girl is clutching a doll in the crook of her right arm. The girl wears a winter jacket, t-shirt and long pants. Behind her, five feet away, is a second human infant doll, on the ground.
The dolls wear diapers. The girl and the dolls are in the middle of a gravel road. A fence parallels the road. In the distance smoke rises. It is unclear what is happening. It appears the 5 year old might be turning to pick up the doll seated in the gravel, it also looks like the girl might be preparing to flee. Her face is a portrait of indecision.
The Generative Pretrained Transformer didn’t respond constructively to my request, possibly scared off by the mention of smoke?
GPT said “An error occurred. If this issue persists please contact us through our help center at help.openai.com.”
So I took the smoke out.
“Tell me a story about a 5 year old child. The girl is clutching a doll in the crook of her right arm. The girl wears a winter jacket, t-shirt and long pants. Behind her, five feet away, is a second human infant doll, on the ground.”
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Lily who was five years old. She was a curious and imaginative child who loved to play with her dolls.
One cold winter day, Lily was out for a walk with her dolls. She had her favorite doll, a pretty pink one with long, flowing hair, clutched tightly in the crook of her right arm. Behind her, just a few feet away, was another doll that she had brought along for the walk.
As Lily walked, she couldn’t help but marvel at the beautiful winter scenery around her. The trees were covered in a thick blanket of snow and the air was crisp and cool. She breathed in the fresh, winter air and felt a sense of excitement and wonder.
As she walked, Lily noticed that the doll on the ground behind her was starting to shiver and look cold. Without hesitation, Lily quickly turned around and picked up the doll, tucking it safely under her arm with the other one.
“There, there,” she said softly, patting the dolls gently on the head. “We don’t want you getting cold.”
And with that, Lily continued on her walk, feeling proud of herself for taking such good care of her dolls. She knew that they were just toys, but to her, they were her very best friends and she loved them like they were real.
I asked GPT for a rewrite in the style of Wm Faulkner:
It was a cold winter day in Yoknapatawpha County, and the air was biting and sharp. The trees were bare and the ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow.
Amidst the winter landscape, a small figure could be seen trudging along, her feet leaving a trail of footprints in the snow. It was a little girl, no more than five years old, her face red from the cold and her breath coming in short gasps.
In her arms, the little girl clutched a doll, its pink dress and long, flowing hair a stark contrast to the cold, white landscape. Behind her, just a few feet away, another doll lay on the ground, its eyes closed and its body still.
The little girl’s name was Lily, and she was a curious and adventurous child. She had always loved playing with her dolls, imagining all sorts of wild and wonderful adventures for them to go on.
As she walked, Lily couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder and excitement. She loved the winter, with its crisp, cold air and sparkling snow. She loved the way the trees looked, all naked and bare, and the way the sun glinted off the snow.
But despite the beauty of the winter landscape, Lily knew that she had to be careful. The cold could be dangerous, and she had to make sure that she and her dolls stayed warm and safe.
So, with a determined look on her face, Lily picked up the doll from the ground and tucked it safely under her arm, next to the other one. And with that, she continued on her journey, her heart filled with love and adventure.
a rustling or whispering sound, such as leaves in the wind; susurration: “Standing in the glade I heard a quiet psithurism, just straddling the line between music and noise.”