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    The New York Times: Times Haiku

Brilliant blog collects haikus from New York Times articles

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Hey gang – prepare for your Tuesday to get at least 50 per cent more tremendous courtesy of the wonderful Times Haiku blog. Subtitled “Serendipitous Poetry from The New York Times,” the project is the result of an algorithm designed by the newspaper’s own technical team which sweeps the Times’ website for snippets of articles which fit the syllable criteria for a haiku. The best are then posted on the site.

As Jacob Harris, senior software architect, writes on the blog: "Not every haiku our computer finds is a good one. The algorithm discards some potential poems if they are awkwardly constructed and it does not scan articles covering sensitive topics. Furthermore, the machine has no aesthetic sense. It can’t distinguish between an elegant verse and a plodding one.

“This experiment in automated poetry detection has only just begun. We’ll fine-tune the algorithm, expand the dictionary and see what treasures we find,” he adds.

Reminiscent of the brilliant Google Poetics site, this is yet more proof that we can harness our digital skills to find poetry in all sorts of unlikely places. Start enjoying them right now here.

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.