I have discovered a very simple algorithm for generating passable English poetry: grab random sentences from the greatest novel ever written and plug them into the most primitive template you can find. I call this project "Ulysses haikus."
To start we need the text itself and a few lines of Python code to parse it, which should leave us with a list of every sentence in the book. From there we can make two sub-lists containing nothing but five- and seven-syllable sentences (for the 5-7-5 haiku pattern) and use those to randomly generate our poems. You can find the full code, including a cute function for the syllable counts by Danny O'Brien, on this page.
Of the one hundred poems I generated in my first trial, about half ended up being readable, which says something both about Joyce's facility with words and the integrity of haikus. Ten, in particular, were actually quite striking:
He waits while you wait Moonlight silver effulgence He is young Leopold Hhhn: burst sideways His gun rusty from the dew Breakfast is ready I'll flay him alive Uncertainly he waited Heavy of the past Holohan told me WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM? I said No security Watching his water Wonder where it is really where the tide ebbs .. You are cautioned Beware of imitations History to blame Must be his deathday Known as Koch's preparation And the rest nowhere Serum and virus Dreadful life sailors have too I needn't tell you ALLELUIA Wonder how he looks at life Probably neuter Repentance skindeep --Yes, sir, the chemist said Where I come in
In any case I was pleased with the results, though I encourage more experiments as I'm sure there are plenty of gems yet uncovered. Send your best to haikus AT jsomers.net.