I am a really big fan of the poems by /u/poem_for_your_sprog on Reddit. For those of you who are not familiar with him yet; he writes short poems as responses to others on /r/AskReddit threads. To give you an example, one that I particularly like is the following, which was written in response to a thread full of responses from ICU workers, who despite their best efforts are not always able to save every patient they meet:

You’ll weather the wind and the rain and the rough -
And sometimes you’ll try but it won’t be enough.

You did what you could,
but it’s not up to you.

You did what you could,
and that’s all you can do.


I always find it difficult to explain why I love these poems so much. Some, like the above, stand out in simplicity; six short lines that bring a message that speaks to many of us. But there's more elaborate ones, and really funny ones too. I would love to understand a little bit better what exactly it is that makes these poems so appealing to me, and to get a better grasp of the artform behind it. Sadly, I know absolutely nothing about poetry. And since I'm also not as good with words as /u/poem_for_your_sprog, I will try to understand poetry in the only way I know how: By using data.

My plan is to create a dataset of all the poems /u/poem_for_your_sprog has written, and create a number of notebooks that dive into these works. In this first notebook, I want to explore some basic statistics about these poems.

You can find the notebook with python code that was used to create this page on GitHub.