Serendipitous Poetry from The New York Times
About Times Haiku
By Jacob Harris
Whimsy is not a quality we usually associate with computer programs. We tend to think of software in terms of the function it fulfills. For example, a spreadsheet helps us do our work. A game of Tetris provides a means of procrastination. Social media reconnects us with our high school nemeses. But what about computer code that serves no inherent purpose in itself?
This is a Tumblr blog of haikus found within The New York Times. Most of us first encountered haikus in a grade school, when we were taught that they are three-line poems with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second and five on the third. According to the Haiku Society of America, that is not an ironclad rule. A proper haiku should also contain a word that indicates the season, or “kigo,” as well as a juxtaposition of verbal imagery, known as “kireji.” That's a lot harder to teach an algorithm, though, so we just count syllables like most amateur haiku aficionados do.