Posts tagged ‘poetry’

Ligature Alternatives in LaTeX

I’ve been corresponding with Dario Taraborelli and Will Robertson, and we have concluded a couple things about LaTeX and alternative glyphs for ligatures: Don’t bother reading behind this cut if you don’t use LaTeX →

I’m not usually into beatnik stuff,

but this is pretty good.

Experiment terminated early

Conclusion: poetry is hard. No, I think I said that wrong, so I’ll try again. Writing poetry is hard! and totally underappreciated! I set out to see how difficult it was several weeks ago, when I decided that I would start writing my posts in metered verse, slowly turning them more and more into poetry until I got through 5 posts or someone noticed, whichever came first. I began by discussing the latest in gay marriage debates and airline liquid bans in dactyllic verse (though I relaxed the sentence length restrictions for the second paragraph). I then wrote about XeTeX in iambic pentadecameter (intended to be 3-line stanzas of iambic pentameter, but I couldn’t handle word breaks at the end of lines). Both of these posts took several hours to compose over multiple days, which took much longer than I expected. I have tried several times to compose a subsequent post with word breaks where line breaks should be, but couldn’t do it before finding several more postworthy things, and got severely backlogged in stuff I wanted to write about. So, as of today, I’m abandoning this experiment and admitting defeat. I can’t do it: writing poetry is way too hard. and the worst part is that the things with which poets concern themselves are so subtle that no one notices unless you point and say, “look at the structure of this language; it is unusual.” They put all this effort into amazing, clever literary constructions, and we, the unwashed masses, don’t even notice what they do most of the time. I certainly didn’t appreciate it until I tried it out. Attempting this has given me a newfound respect for poetry and poets. I had no idea it was so difficult, and I’m amazed that others are so skilled at it.