8COUNTING SYLLABLES FOR HAIKU POETRY

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Poetry may be the supreme form of literature. It is, as Coleridge put it, “the best words in the best order.” The poet must—with great brevity—tell a story, promote an idea, describe a scene, or evoke intensity of feeling, all while obeying strict rules on rhythm and rhyme, style and structure.

Computers love rules and structure and even have the potential to evoke emotions. In his 1996 book Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry, author Charles Hartman describes early attempts to write algorithms that could mimic human poetry. To quote Hartman, “The complexity of poetic interaction, the tricky dance ...

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