Have you heard of the new genre of creativity called micropoetry? Tweet-sized poetry. Really. Not just haikus, they are a form of micro-poetry, yes, but not all micropoetry is haiku. There are some beautiful examples of twitter poetry that don’t follow a specific structure.
If poetry is about saying much with little, isn’t Twitter an ideal medium? The 140 character limit forces us to synthesize our non-poetic thoughts into non-rambling, coherent phrases, and that is one of the main reasons the platform has become so important in how we digest our information. The limitation does make us think more concisely and sometimes more creatively. So it makes sense that artists would embrace it, precisely because of the character limit.
Micropoetry as a genre is gaining traction, with festivals, contests, societies and readings. It even is beginning to spawn sub-genres, such as romantic, nostalgic, or “erotic” micro-poetry:
The biggest impact is the spreading of the concept. With poetry deliverable to our Twitter feeds on an almost hourly basis, we are more exposed to the power of words to create images and feelings. This can only deepen our respect for the art form, as well as giving us a small escape during the average day. Poetry has the power to take us out of our immediate surroundings, to places in our mind that can provide an energising refuge from daily stress. Capturing our ideas and condensing them into bite-size prose is also therapeutic, giving us distance from a situation and providing a creative outlet. A little bit of beauty on a regular, easy-to-access basis sounds good to me.
Where can you see examples of micropoetry? (This list is by no means exhaustive, there are lots of good sources out there):
A really surprising, new, sometimes confusing but often charming poetry genre is Captcha poetry. Yes, poetry made up of the garbled security words you get on some sign-ins. An example by Heather Moore, taken from her blog Skinny LaMinx (some of the comments on the post are lovely!):
It’s not only poems that can lend themselves to the character limitations. Stories, too, or rather, micro-stories. Difficult, but possible. Here is a tweet-sized story, by none other than Ernest Hemingway. Very sad. Very moving. Very short.
“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”