As National Poetry Month draws nearer, I am planning an experiment that I predict will catch on en masse. I won’t be the first person to do this, but I will be (as far as I know) the first person to codify principles for doing it. The “it” I’m talking about is writing and publishing Twitter poems.
If you are familiar with Twitter, kudos to you. If not, allow me to introduce you to the 21st century version of mass communication.
Twitter is an opt-in service that allows you to set up an account and a profile and instant message multiple people who have agreed to receive your messages. The messages, however, have a 140-character limit. Because of this limit, Twitter has been dubbed “microblogging”. It’s a way of sharing information in short snippets. I like Twitter for a number of reasons, one of which is because it forces me to think concisely. Brevity is key to good writing and Twitter forces you to be brief.
What Is A Twitter Poem?
So what is a Twitter poem? In a word, a Twitter poem is a poem that you write for Twitter and publish on Twitter. I have seen Twitter haikus and other poets have used Twitter to write short poems. I’ve even seen people Twitter an entire book.
As I see it, there are two ways you can use Twitter to write a poem. You can write a single poem within one “tweet” – the word for a message on Twitter. Or you can use each message to write a line in a poem. In the latter’s case, your poem can be as long as you want it to be as long as each line is no more than 140 characters. That’s not quite as challenging as writing a 140-character poem.
Keep in mind, we are talking about 140 characters, not words.
My Twitter Poem Experiment
Starting April 1, I will tweet one poem a day for 30 days. Each poem will consist of 140 characters or less. Each poem will exist within one tweet. No more. I will tweet each poem three times and every day throughout April I will publish a new poem. I’d welcome you to follow me, if you have an interest in seeing how this little experiment goes.
All you have to do to follow me is open a Twitter account and look for me at http://twitter.com/Allen_Taylor. My username on Twitter is Allen_Taylor. When you find me just click the Follow button and that’s all there is to it.
If you want to write your own Twitter poems in response I’d like to read them.
h2>How To Write A Twitter Poem
Here are the guidelines that I’ll be using for my Twitter poems. You can write a poem on Twitter any way you like. But I’m using this method as a means of efficiency and so that there is consistency throughout the month. Whenever you see a Twitter poem it will look like this:
- Every line will end with /
- Stanzas will end with a double / – just like this //
- Poems will appear as one line with the above symbols to represent line and stanza breaks
- At the end of each poem you’ll see #twitpoem
That’s about it. Pretty simple. The #twitpoem is called a hashtag. If you go to http://search.twitter.com and type in the hashtag you’ll find all of the poems on one page.
Remember, the Twitter Poem Experiment starts on April 1. I will write one poem per day for 30 days. Each day I will tweet the poem three times. To read, you’ll have to follow me on Twitter. I hope to see you there.