Poetry For Programmers: A Collection OF ‘Code Poems’ Put Together By Ishac Bertran

In February of this year, designer Ishac Bertran started a project where he invited people from all around the world to submit poetry written in coding language. His only rules were that they had to be no bigger than 0.5kb and that they had to compile.

His unique project got a great response and he received more than 200 poems from 30 different countries. Submissions were written in numerous different programming languages such as C++, HTML, C#, SQL, Objective C, Applescript and Java. They cover topics and themes that you would expect to see appear in traditional poetry like love, religion, science, life, robots (ahem, well maybe that’s not a recurring poetry theme but anyway) and news.

Bertran selected 55 of the best entries and put them together in a book entitled ‘Code {poems}’.

The foreword for ‘Code {poems}’ is written by Jamie Allen who is the head of research at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and it has a small print run of just 100, with each copy numbered. Other contributors and editors include David Gauthier, Joshua Noble and Marcin Ignac.

Bertran elaborated on his intriguing project to Wired.co.uk, he said: “From comments I received from the authors it seems they felt like defining the boundaries of code poetry while creating their poem.”

Bertran said that the hardest challenge he faced when creating ‘Code {poems}’ was to make it feel natural to the readers. He said:

“It’s been really exciting to design a book in which the code feels comfortable living in this physical medium, and poetry doesn’t feel betrayed. Code literature might still sound strange but it feels right to me, to have around in our times.”

Bertran is currently in the process of organizing an exhibition about the project and plans to use visual interpretations by various different artists.

I suppose programmers deserve poetry written in the language that they understand best!

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About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!