July 28th, 2009


Twitter and Poetry

minor_architect got me thinking about Twitter and poetry. Some people have been using Twitter to share short poems, especially haiku. I've occasionally mentioned this, because anything that gets people interested in poetry is cool; but mostly I've ignored it because Twitter isn't my thing. However, it turns out that I have plenty of friends who love Twitter and at least one is tweeting about my poetry fishbowls. So I did a little more investigation ...

This site features many classic haiku poems. I ran a character count on some of them; they range from about 43-74 characters (including spaces). That's about 1/3 to 1/2 of the 140 characters allowed in a tweet.

Tanka is a related but slightly longer form, as described here. The tanka I counted ranged from 65-126 characters, from about half to almost a whole tweet.

The cinquain is another 5-line form, designed for English. The ones I counted were 83-114 characters long, about 2/3 of a tweet.

An epigram is a more flexible thing -- essentially just a pithy saying in verse -- but many poets favor couplets or quatrains. Descriptions with examples are here and here. Samples ranged from 37-129 characters, from about 1/3 to almost a full tweet.

Prose poems, of course, can be any length and have no line breaks. They're distinguished by other poetic techniques such as alliteration and imagery.

So there are plenty of forms short enough to fit into a tweet. (That makes this article about tweets not being copyrightable ... odd. Somebody should've noticed that there is copyrightable -- and indeed copyrighted -- literature smaller than that.) Here are some articles on Twitter poetry:

So what do you think about Twitter as a venue for poetry, if you use that service?

Cool Blogs to Visit

I found these blogs today:

The Green Market covers issues where money meets the environment. It explores how economic shifts affect people and the Earth, how climate change impacts the economy, etc. Anyone interested in business, including self-employed folks, should check it out.

The Earth Is Not a Trash Can features snapshots of litter, environmental news, cleanup projects, recycling resources, and tips on saving the planet. It's a collection of lessons on how not to whizz in your own nest. And why not to, because evidently some people don't understand that yet.

The Wisdom Wall is a source of inspirational, uplifting, and thought-provoking essays and quotations. If you're feeling low, look here. I was particularly charmed by this:
“May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, may hope forever wipe away your tears…And, above all, may silence make you strong.” -- Chief Dan George

Asperger's Resources

beatnikbetty has posted some great resources about Asperger's syndrome. This is useful information regarding different ways the brain and personality can be wired. Unusual human configurations can suggest ideas for aliens.

Interestingly, I did not have the "normal" perspective on the 2-question quiz. The other stuff is hit and miss; some things match for me and others don't. There are infinite ways to be different. But "pretending to be normal" ...? Yeah, that.

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, August 4

This is an advance announcement for the August 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "stages of life." I'll be soliciting ideas for characters in a particular life stage, milestones marking life stages, memorable events, cultural motifs related to life stages, and poetic forms in particular.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here, repost this on your blog, or mention it on any other social networking service.

NEW: If at least one new person posts a prompt during the August Fishbowl, I will post an extra poem for free.

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