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The Rise of Online Poetry

By Harriet Staff

shakespeare-twitter1

Social media may not be the death of creativity after all. An article in The Independent explores the idea of Twitter creating a new and interesting forum for poetic expression. “Twihaiku” or “micropoetry,” as the article calls the 140-character-bound nuggets, can be seen as a bridge between traditional forms of poetry and modern technology. As the story points out, even established poetry houses are on board:

The director of the Poetry Society, Judith Palmer, says: “There’s a renewed interest in the form of British poetry at the moment and the constraints of the 140-character limit play to that, in the same way as the 14 lines of the sonnet or the 17 syllables of the haiku. Twitter poems tend to be playful and are often collaborative, but they’re also good for ‘Imagist’-style observation, or philosophical musing. They can reach a wide audience in moments but they’re also ephemeral, evaporating pretty as the Twitter-feeds roll relentlessly on.”

Both new and established poets like Elizabeth Alexander who has tweeted gems like:

Inside the darkened bathroom/ we looked into the black mirror/ cracked the wintergreen candy/ watched sparks fly from our teeth.

are partaking in the fun. British poet Alison Brackenbury even credits the medium for new fans and editing skills:

I have warmed to Twitter as a way of spreading good poetry. I post lines from my breakfast reading, as well as writing original poems that are now migrating to a printed anthology. Writing in 140 characters has taught me to slash sentences; it offers a public home for private passions, such as bicycles and bumblebees. Twitter can also market poetry in the most unexpected ways. Someone recently bought my new collection, Then, after reading my tweet poem about the snail in my bathroom.

Feeling inspired? Tweet your best Twitter poems to: @independent

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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.