One week ago, it was World Poetry Day. In honour of it, the New York Times conducted a poetry-generation project on Twitter, then wrote a review of it (Huffington Post wrote about the project too). Here’s their tweet about it:
Hundreds of Twitter bards composed short poems and tagged them #poetweet to celebrate World Poetry Day and the fifth anniversary of the first Twitter message. http://nyti.ms/hfCMje
It reminded me about one of my favourite things: The Longest Poem in the World, a website that makes rhyming couplets out of random tweets. Sometimes they are inadvertently insightful. Other times, hilarious. Here’s a sample (disregard the poor spelling):
Bloggers and others have recently been exploring the Twitter poem (and coining such terms as “poetweet” and “twaiku”): poems of fewer than 140 characters, presented on Twitter. Michael Fergusson compiles a brief list of links to Twitter poets and thinkers and shares his own thoughts:
I’m sure I’m not the first to think it’s also a good medium for poetry. I like the creative limitation that 140 characters gives you. In exchange, Twitter gives you a whole new medium for your poetry: simultaneously posted to people’s cell phones, Facebook and Twitter feeds… very 21st century. And, as a bonus to the reader, if you don’t like my poetry, you only need to suffer through 140 characters of it at the most!
There are self-proclaimed poets who use Twitter as their main medium (TwitterPoet, Poetry Tweets, etc). Another poet, Tom Watson, assembles found poetry from the tweets of others. And TwiHaiku is a recently founded publication that publishes these poems in their Twitter feed (here’s a review of it—and here’s TwiHaiku on Twitter).
And, of course, there are things like this:
On a serious note: here is a somewhat-related essay, “Mechanisms for Non-Elite Voices: Mass-Observation and Twitter”, by Pamela Ingleton (friend of a friend and formidable scholar—and she’s on Twitter and writes a blog), on some of the cultural implications of Twitter. It has little to do with poetry, but much to do with grand questions. (I wanted to sneak in a link to it now, because I don’t know when I’ll next bring up Twitter.)
I don’t have much else to say at the moment. Follow me on Twitter if you’re into it. Write poems if you’re into it. I have to go to an appointment now. Ciao!