Programmer sestina

I have taken up Geoffrey’s challenge on writing a sestina. Man it’s hard! If you love seeking patterns in things, then see if you can figure out what a sestina is. If you’re stuck, well, here’s a hint.

Of course, I cheated a bit, since we all know hit songs are nonsense lyrics strung together. So if you don’t understand any line, it’s because I ran out of inspiration and just plopped something to fill the void.

The programmer sestina

Just like the life giving warmth of the sun
You can create a better world through your code
Even something as simple and mundane as water
This element of old courses the veins of a tree
With earth and air, ancient elements the other two
They fuse together, becoming a beautiful force

As a programmer, you wield tremendous force
You are not as solitary as the sun
Close by you’ll always find a friend or two
Spurring one another to write better code
Solving the very root of the problem tree
And cleanse the ultimate source of foul water

Learn to calm your mind, like placid lake water
Only to turn in a moment’s notice to a tidal force
Be unyielding with the will to grow of a tree
Reaching for greatness, reaching skywards for the sun
Technology advances with the rising quality of code
Or retards with the bad, these consequences just two

Counting in numbers, arithmetic base two
Should be easy and fun, like playing in water
If ever you find it hard to produce code
‘Cause of meetings, deadlines, pressure and force
Just look out the window, to feel the sun
And listen to the rustling leaves of a tree

Many roles you fill, more than leaves on a tree
You wish there’re more of you, like at least two
Trapped in dingy cubicles away from the sun
With no coffee, no tea, or even cooler water
You buckle down under corporate bureaucratic force
Churning out line after line of uninteresting code

Programmers solve puzzles and enigmatic code
Or use the concept of graph nodes in a tree
Or implement the formula of gravitational force
You’re unique, like the only even prime that’s two
You’re adaptable, filling needs and voids like water
So go out there and shine more brightly than the sun

Climb a tree and reach for the sun
Smell the brine water and dig into your force
You’re better than two extreme programmers writing code

  1. Vincent Tan

    It’s actually easier than it looks. I got stuck at some of the lines for a while though. And it’s fun to write something like this once in a while.

  2. Shonzilla

    Haha… seeking a pattern beyond sestina – I see it as an interesting way to switch context. I mean, it is generally highly advised to refresh and reset your mind when you’re stuck in a nasty (programming) problem for too long and need to look at it with a “fresh pair of eyes”.

    Writing a sestina is a creative way to “refresh and reset” instead of reading a newspaper, walking a dog (that you do not have or has already done its “job”) or, God forbid, surf the net. 🙂

    Your mileage may vary, so “nasty problem” and “too long” are in the eyes of the beholder.


    p.s. I am not that much into poetry, so I’d rather go with a haiku. 😉

  3. Vincent Tan

    My fastest “refresh and reset” strategy? Get up and leave my work desk. Walk around. Wash my face.

    Sometimes, my brain doesn’t need a long break. It just needs to stop thinking about the problem. I’ll do something mundane, like clearing up my desk, in the meantime…

  4. Geoff

    Thanks for taking up the challenge. Sestinas can be fun because they require creativity, but within a pre-defined sense of order.

    This was great work. I’m glad you had fun with it. Creativity should be fun.

  5. Vincent Tan

    Hi Geoff! I can usually whip up a short poem on short notice. A sestina on the other hand… 6 stanzas! And written within certain rules and order.

    Thanks for letting me know about sestinas. I learned something new.

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