To me, relating 'good' code to poetry is just a fanciful way of saying that code should be pleasant/enjoyable.
Part of why we're having this discussion about the meaning and merit of the quote is because the quote is somewhat poetic, i.e. pleasant to read, but also quite open to diverging interpretations. That is, the quote would be terrible code.
Perhaps that is why the quote doesn't have a real source -- ILYO is all I found it listed under. :)
I'm not sure all poetry is meant to be enjoyable/pleasant. I write a lot of depression/emotional stuff. Perhaps mine is a better reflection of my code than the enjoyable kind.
Yeah, I somewhat doubt that most people read that quote and think "indeed, code should take the minimum amount of effort to make you huddle in a corner, sobbing quietly". That said, much code out there does seem to be written with that in mind :).
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