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On a lark, I wrote this haiku generator one afternoon at work, with the Python becoming more and more obfuscated as I went:
from random import choice as CH from itertools import product as P from functools import partial as PA def haiku(syls=dict((i,s.split()) for i,s in enumerate( "fair blue green sun earth sky air lake bird fish wheat tree sand life death grim " "man boy girl runs plays hunts far old young deep high I my his her sings sad old " "red black white night day sleeps broods joy eats drinks swims leaps dreams worm " "eye hand arm leg foot mouth blood tears years moon stars days wild dog cat time " "friend son takes lives dies loves hates laughs cries shouts flies flames burnt " "tall short grass low mourns moans chants wind blows grows rain snow light dark " "prays prayer soul tone hue shade fades rich leaf leaves arch oak rose song just " "child void|" "golden yellow meadow open mountain nature garden ocean tiger vision only " "flower zebra lion woman baby wonder joyful dances dancing laughing single " "morning evening sleepy drowsy awake asleep away hunger pleasure simple deadly " "today tonight progress prefers dances mother father daughter droplet ocean " "laughter sorrow running jumping rushing turning whispers cascade arrow simple " "longing elder willow honey water heaven above below after before river " "quiet embers wishes under over respite relief journey afar glistens abyss " "shimmers ripples shudders shivers trembles slumbers hiding gently slowly " "slender brooding somber ochre velvet ruby entwined spirit blossom ribbon iris " "willow meaning resolve omen|" "waterfall aurora indigo butterfly lioness whimsical yesterday enemy " "contemplates considers grandfather grandmother family glistening emerges " "fortunate absolute horizon precipice oasis shivering shimmering tenderly " "sleepily carefully wistfully beautiful entwining sepia unknowing " "feverish|" "caterpillar captivating fascinating philosophy iridescent " "intermingled understanding proximity unknowable unreachable|" "inescapable undeniable inevitable unfathomable".split('|'),1)), combs=map(PA(filter,None),P(*[range(6)]*7))): return '\n'.join(' '.join(CH(syls[x]) for x in CH(filter(lambda c:sum(c)==n, combs))) for n in (5,7,5)) for i in range(10): print (haiku()+'\n')
feverish moans runs moans unfathomable time garden baby earth absolute moon cries wheat moon evening blossom song earth takes shudders plays life grim precipice blue understanding abyss fades grim aurora broods willow grim dies fair respite iridescent foot shade I hiding my stars family iridescent heaven sand hunts grass cascade runs dreams turning red snow waterfall shade shimmering captivating stars sand grim tonight night moon nature shimmering prays my flower shade blows old white glistening meadow only shade slender wild his omen cat willow hue whispers dies grandfather son spirit garden dark above tears garden relief laughs shimmering tenderly song time mountain dies
Are these really haiku? Not in the conventional sense, and certainly not ones that would hold up to critical review. But if you select a seed dictionary of words that collectively suggest a particular mood, the generated verse can evoke that same mood.
From time to time, I find that I need a function to return +1, 0, or -1 representing the sign of a value: +1 or -1 for positive or negative values, or 0 for a zero value. I remember learning this as the sgn function in high school. Python’s standard lib leaves this out, but does supply cmp as a built-in, so the standard approach would probably be to define sgn using:
sgn = lambda x : cmp(x,0)
I found a nice website of Bit-Twiddling Hacks the other day, and it had a nice alternative for sgn, which in Python would be:
sgn = lambda x : (x>0) - (x<0)
The elegance of this appeals to me and I did a quick timing pass:
C:\Users\Paul>python -m timeit "[cmp(x,0) for x in (-100,0,14)]"
1000000 loops, best of 3: 0.645 usec per loop
C:\Users\Paul>python -m timeit "[lambda x:x>0 - x<0 for x in (-100,0,14)]"
1000000 loops, best of 3: 0.496 usec per loop
So by cutting out the repeated function calls to cmp, this also has the benefit of being just a tad faster.