Culture

The New York Times’ Haiku-Making Tumblr Won’t Save Journalism, But It’s Still Fun

Culture

The New York Times’ Haiku-Making Tumblr Won’t Save Journalism, But It’s Still Fun

+

Yes, I’m aware of what day it is and that any new development in the world of anything should be taken with a gargantuan grain of salt, but this haiku-making Tumblr from the New York Times is the niftiest thing you’ll follow all day. The software geniuses at the Times built an algorithm to search their articles and figure out what sentences fit into the 5-7-5 syllable structure found in most haikus, which are then generated into images for you to reblog to your heart’s content. Haikus like:

Barking and howling
can make life miserable
for everybody.

and

I slugged two shots of
plum brandy, convinced we had
wandered back in time.

It’s oddly graceful, considering the algorithm “has no aesthetic sense,” according to the Tumblr’s About section. It’s also weird enough to consider that this might just be a really contrived April Fool’s joke, though I don’t know what the effect would be. “The New York Times likes poetry! Ha ha, nope, we’re just kidding—poetry is for losers.” Enjoy them now, before the inevitable paywall ruins everything.