Error Message Poetry

Teaching a poetry unit in summer school this week, I used material from a contest sponsored by several years ago. 

Haiku are short, strict, sparse Japanese poems that focus on a single detail of the natural world, elegantly described.  Computer error messages are common, terse, and often frustratingly mired in jargon.  Isn’t it obvious that these need to be entwined?

Hence, Salon’s contest, which asked for new and improved error messages, written as haiku.  My personal favorites are:

With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
“My Novel” not found.


You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

The rest of this digital whimsy may be found here.

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