I copied, pasted, cut, poked, threaded, beaded, coded, and finished Serendipitous Oulipo Haiku. Four hundred and eighteen haiku when rearranged by first, second, and third lines yield 418 x 418 x 418 poems. That is 73,034,632 haiku that often work, sometimes seem profound, and other times are broken thoughts. I added a single poem, “serendipity”, for this project to the 417 haiku from the past 14 months.
I could go into the parallels of three lines of a haiku and the Three Princes of Serendip or the potential within myself and of this earth reflected in the potential literature (Oulipo), or the temporary sand-like nature that each poem feels like, but I won’t. I want you, the viewer/maker/reader, to find the poems that speak to you; the poetry that is serendipitous for who you are in this space and time. Serendipity only happens with action – poems only become when written.
Here is a link to a full page view. Press “s” to save a poem, press any other key to mix. Click on the left or right of a line to scroll. This does not work well on mobile devices. I created a twitter bot to tweet random haiku here.
If you want to make your own version with these haiku, here is the file – enjoy!
I look forward to the Birb’s nest creative coding challenges on discord. This week’s topic was “serendipity,” but one of the suggestions was Oulipo (thanks Antoine Shynif). I hyper-focused on these words, which were the impetus for this piece coming together.
I made a quick video for this post just to show how it works