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Mathematics of Haiku
This article is about the mathematics of haiku. Wait...poetry and math? Yes, of course. They are actually quite compatible. Of the poems that I've written (which can be found here), of them are haiku.
A traditional haiku has a certain structure and various "rules". Of course, both of these things can be changed, altered, modified, by any degree, or strictly adhered to. One of the main things, at least for so-called "American haiku" is a syllable structure of 575, or
which means 5 syllables for the first line, 7 syllables for the second line, and 5 syllables for the third line.
What is interesting is that for this syllable structure alone, there are 25-1*27-1*25-1 (I wrote it like that for a reason) possible syllable structures, or 24*26*24 = 16*64*16 = 16,384.
This happens because 5 syllables (for example) can be expressed 16 ways like:
41 (ie. 4 syllables and 1 syllable, so 5 total syllables)
This breaking down of an integer is called "integer composition". Curiously, if we didn't care about order, for example 113 is the same as 131, 311, etc., then it is called "integer partition". There is tons of research in mathematics on these topics, and they are related with number theory and binary numbers.
Similarly 7 (again, from the 575 structure) can be broken down 64 ways. In general, n can be broken down 2n-1 ways. Here is the breakdown for 7
322 (ie. 3 syllable, 2 syllable, and 2 syllable, so 7 total syllables)
Of those 5 syllable possibilities, say the 23 one, there are so many 2 syllable words and so many 3 syllable words, so the 23 possibility has millions of possibilities itself. The 1112 probably has trillions.
Therefore, even using very small word lists for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 syllable words, I calculate total possible random haikus of over 1066. What I am saying is, even if your vocabulary is somewhat limited, which it probably is not, you have the creative capacity inside you for making more haiku than the number of atoms in the universe.
Here is a link to download my haiku creator spreadsheet as of the writing of this article that demonstrates these ideas. Enjoy! Please do credit Statisticool.com if you use the spreadsheet however.
So don't be afraid of letting the right side of your brain mingle with your left, you never know what they might create.
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