Serendipitous Oulipo Haiku

Generative Poetry as Touchable Art and Creative Code

A work of art hanging. There is a stick with three tiers of wired paper bordered with beads.

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.

Cutting and wiring of each little line of poetry on paper.

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.

Close up fan of the lines of poetry

Here is a link to a full page view of the code that is embedded below. Press “s” to save a poem, press any other key to mix. Click on the left or right of a line to scroll. (Note: This does not work well on mobile devices. )

In addition, I created a twitter bot to tweet random haiku every thirty minutes here. Some days seem more broken in thought, while others are deep and thought provoking. In my lifetime, all of the haiku will not have been tweeted.

If you want to make your own version with these haiku, here is the file — enjoy!

This article was originally written on my blog/portfolio —

Sample poems



Math obsessed perpetual asker of why. Creator of poetry, code, math, and art. find me at or Salem, OR

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