On Twitter’s “Birthday,” World Poetry Day & #poetweet

March 19, 2011

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Monday is the 5th anniversary of the first Tweet, sent by @jack, founder of the 140-character communication service.

It’s also World Poetry Day, a coincidence that did not go unnoticed by the New York Times this weekend (read, if the Old Gray Lady‘s new paywall hasn’t gone up, the story here.

The Times even commissioned new Twitter poems by four well-known bards for the occasion. (You can tell they aren’t really users of the service.)

Twitter has been a great outlet for poets almost since the beginning.  As the Times points out, the constraints of the service are perfect for haiku or a loose approximation of the form.  The poet and editor @poeticmindset even has a poetry challenge called the #haikuthrowdown.

Here is a list of some of the poets on Twitter, compiled by Collin Kelly, and a Twitter list of poets, presses, libraries, and poetry lovers that I curate.

Some of us sprinkle poetry into our every day Twitterstream, whether linking to poems we love, poems we’re reading, or poems we are working on. The journal 32 Poems hosts a #poetparty on Sunday evenings at 9PM ET, which brings together poets from around the world.

I was an early adopter of Twitter, thanks to Fred Wilson, who got me hooked several years ago, and have often shared poetry or poetic observations among my regular tweets @greenskeptic.

Here’s a sampling from a few summers ago, which I pulled together into a poem sequence:

TwitterVerse, or 12 Micropoems Composed on Twitter

1.      Cloudy morning in the mountains. A murder of crows cleaning up last night’s messes.  (10:22 AM August 21, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

2.      Tent caterpillars attacking the sourwood trees. Crape myrtle taken off like dismembered figureheads.  (07:28 PM August 21, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

3.      Darkness falls, misty fog in the mountains. Night of oppossum and opacity.  (09:37 PM August 21, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

4.      A bat hits the plate glass window, sonar ignoring proximity. Breathlessness of all that is fragile.  (11:47 PM August 21, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

5.      Pair of late-nesting goldfinch at the feeder: she’s telling him to watch his cholesterol; he’s rolling his eyes. (10:18 AM August 22, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

6.     Periwinkle clouds and forest green mountains sandwich a raspberry jam-colored sky. (09:22 PM August 22, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

7.     The female house finch must be jealous of her more resplendent husband; especially when she’s mistaken, in passing, for passer domesticus. (10:56 AM August 23, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

8.      The edges of darkness are drier than kiln dried wood. Even moths are logy, drought sucking moisture from papery wings. Where is the rain?  (01:15 AM August 24, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

9.      Morning: a rose red dawn, hush of newsprint, and whispers between the chair and its ottoman.  (11:07 AM August 24, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

10.  The blue jay glances around before he screeches; as if to make sure no one will throw a bad tomato, sneaker, or tin can. Comedian or poet?  (03:01 PM August 24, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

11.  House of whispers, try playing a different game tonight. All your old plays are recorded and discarded. Creaks diminish with every footfall.  (01:47 AM August 25, 2008 from TwitterBerry)

12.  Rain at last, but not enough to soak the grass or slake the thirst of trees or titmice. Fay does not show herself, cloud-veiled.  (10:17 AM August 25, 2008 from mobile web )

–Scott Edward Anderson

(Twitter: greenskeptic)

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2 Responses to “On Twitter’s “Birthday,” World Poetry Day & #poetweet”


  1. […] On Twitter’s “Birthday,” World Poetry Day & #poetweet (seapoetry.wordpress.com) […]


  2. By bluebirdspoetry :-

    Guttenbergs gone wireless,
    poets documenting ness,
    travelling unaiding ancient light,
    illuminating handsets facing night,
    recasting new winds’ paleo-silent mind…..

    come visit revisit, pleas breeze, please share,
    retweeting never frills,
    spread fresh yearns’ burning air
    ===={[:)| dr. todd


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