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An essential poetry app as addictive as raspberries
This morning, the New York Times rounded up poetry smartphone apps and we were quite flattered to find our app listed as “essential.” The article made special mention of the app’s “spin” feature, which allows users to pair moods and categories like “joy” and “family” to see what the poetry slot-machine magic comes up with.
However, Harriet wanted to know how the Poetry app fares among the average user. Who’s using it, what do they use it for, and what do they think of it?
We took a web litmus test, and looks like a plethora of bloggers and Twitterbugs have already weighed in. Here’s the verdict from few Poetry app users:
In a post titled “Just What Poetry’s Spin Doctor Ordered,” blogger Mike Chasar breaks down the pros and cons of the app’s spin function. He suggests that while the quick categorization facilitates access, and that its very existence means that Poetry is now “middlebrow”:
The Poetry Foundation apparently knows, however, that author names and specific poem titles often pale in importance to subject matter, theme, or mood among a popular readership and so, in reaching out to that readership via the iPhone app, the Foundation has put on a distinctly popular face—a face that probably has Ezra Pound rolling (if not spinning) in his grave. (Try to imagine, for example, an anthology of Modernist poetry being structured around sections titled “Joy” and “Commitment”!) That is, after nearly a century of standing for modernist quality, taste and discrimination, Poetry has gone thoroughly middlebrow if not downright popular in its ambitions, and it’s not the world of the little magazine but digital communication technologies—such as the Poetry Tool on the Foundation’s web site and the iPhone app discussed here—that have taken it there.
The Rumpus poetry editor Brain Spears focused on the app’s technical aspects in his blog post. Overall, Spears finds it a fun and useful tool, but suggests there’s always room for improvement:
The failing of most poetry apps, at least from my perspective, is that they don’t expand much. Updates are sporadic, assuming they happen at all. What I hope happens with this app is that they continue to add content–new poems from the latest issues of Poetry in particular–and I wouldn’t mind if they threw in the occasional essay either, though that sort of content might require its own application.
Though a bunch of Tweets about the app were praiseworthy, this one from @pilliontopost tempted our palate: “Poetry foundation app proving to be the most addictive thing since decent raspberries.”