Is This Smiley Face From 1648 The Very First Emoticon?

Depending on who you're talking to, emoticons have been adding drama to our typefaces since 1982, possibly even as early as the late 1960s. But was the emoticon actually invented 300 years earlier by an English poet? » 4/14/14 10:27am 4/14/14 10:27am

This Health Scare Article from TIME Is Full of Unfortunate Haikus

When a reader sends a particularly poetic message to the Jezebel inbox, some of the writers will notice the message's linguistic symmetry and gleefully announce, "Haiku!" Truthfully, most of these messages aren't perfect haikus (or "hokkus" for all those Ezra Pound fascists lurking in the comments), but they are very… » 2/23/14 6:01pm 2/23/14 6:01pm

The final Iain Banks book will be published next February

Sadly, it's not a novel — but it's still pretty exciting to have one last glimpse inside the mind of the legendary author. A collection of Banks' poetry, co-written by The Night Sessions author Ken MacLeod and edited by MacLeod, will be published on Feb. 16, 2015, which would have been Banks' 61st birthday. » 2/18/14 12:40pm 2/18/14 12:40pm

Texts from William Blake is our new favorite thing

William Blake was regarded as insane by his contemporaries, due in no small part to the same "cryptic flights of poetic fire" and "marvellous, ineffable pictures" that would later see him labeled a genius. But brilliant though he was*, it's hard to read "Texts from William Blake" and not sympathize with those Romantic-era… » 10/23/13 1:20pm 10/23/13 1:20pm

10 Ways John Milton's Paradise Lost Is Like a Bad Comic Book

Yes, it's a great achievement of English literature. Yes, it's a deep work of spiritual belief and should be given due consideration. And yet, for some reason, Paradise Lost stumbles over the same things that bad comic books do. We're going to look at ten mistakes that serial-fiction writers make — even the famous… » 1/18/13 10:54am 1/18/13 10:54am

A humble, odd little movie that might make you happy for no reason

Filmmaker Florina Titz wrote to io9 to tell us about her strange new short film, Kurupuru, which she described enticingly as being about "glitches, systems, maps, unicorns and brothels." Here's the official synopsis: » 12/19/12 8:03pm 12/19/12 8:03pm

Also, I have never seen a movie based on a poem. Here is the poem that filmmaker Florina Titz says…

The best science poem you'll read this month

Poet Jessy Randall has a history of filling us with happiness by writing dreamy, occasionally silly, poems that touch on science and science fictional topics. Now she has a new book out, called Injecting Dreams Into Cows. Here's the poem that inspired the book's title: » 10/12/12 11:27am 10/12/12 11:27am

Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien read his poem Namárië in Elvish

J.R.R. Tolkien's constructed Elvish languages have such elegant characters — and have been the subject of so much Tolkien-influence art — that it's easy to forget that they was meant to be spoken. Tolkien was, after all, a linguist, and he wanted his Elvish languages to sound a certain way as they rolled from a… » 9/08/12 9:00am 9/08/12 9:00am

Enjoy an illustrated sonnet on the Higgs Boson-like particle

If this week's big particle physics discovery has you wanting to burst into verse, but you don't have a silver tongue, enjoy this sweet sonnet about the particle that might be the Higgs Boson. Vi Hart explains the news with markers and smiley faces. Memorize it for the next time someone asks you what a Higgs Boson is. » 7/07/12 9:00am 7/07/12 9:00am

The Best Books of Poetry For Every Kind of Science Fiction Fan

"All poetry is experimental poetry," Wallace Stevens once said. And the world of contemporary poetry is much like the world of fantastical and science fictional prose narratives. And if you value diversity, weirdness, and contradiction in your reading, you could do a lot worse than to develop a taste for both science… » 2/16/12 10:05am 2/16/12 10:05am