Poetry is Code

I see the converse of this (Code is Poetry) show up here and there on the internet. I agree with the sentiment behind it, which I will sum up this way: Code is Art.

I agree with that, but I think we should let code be its own art.

The art of writing eloquent code is more closely related to construction, engineering, or architecture.

Is the Eiffel Tower beautiful? If you think it is then you can probably appreciate the beauty in a well-written piece of code.

This is the Modernist idea of beauty in materials or beauty in the way materials may interact to produce an effect.

Code isn't poetry because code has no sound, and poetry is about sound and words.

Code can't be pronounced, spoken, or voiced. At least, I've never seen anyone do it in a way that made sense.

It might be interesting to see someone try.

But what about the title of this blog post, which is looking at it the other way? How is poetry like code? How are the things that go into development - design, testing, compilation, and execution - analogous to things that happen in the writing, reading, and hearing of poetry? That to me is (mostly) unexplored territory and seems interesting.

  • Enjoyed this post?
    Consider sharing it.