Want to sharpen up your writing skills? Give micro-poetry a try.
People slam Twitter, but the truth is, it’s very difficult to put a lot of meaning into a very short space, and Tweeps can be very creative in how they do it. 140 characters is not a lot when it comes to crafting a poem.
I write a lot of poetry, most of it highbrow and literary, aimed at some university journal or other. But here’s what Twitter does for me daily that my other writing cannot:
1. It gives me immediate feedback, something I just don’t get anywhere else. Immediate comments, especially from those who DON’T follow you (yet) can be encouraging. Of course, when you write a poem and NO ONE responds, you know it landed short.
2. You can play OFF other people’s poems, have poetry exchanges, like this one I recently had with Nocturne @AmaranthEyes:
An empty room, I’m empty too
And everything reminds me of you.
Nothing speaks your name
it, when I visit empty
that used to be filled
with the two of us.
3. Give your editor the boot, for a moment or two. These kinds of exchanges happen fairly quickly–you don’t want 500 tweets in between to let the opportunity die, after all–so you’re forced to leave that editor inside your brain alone, and just get some words down. I’ve had back-and-forth exchanges that involved ten poems or more, and within that space, there are definitely some lines that came to mind that will spark other work too.
4. Play within a short form. I’ve had haiku exchanges, six-word challenges, five-line forms, and everything in between. If you want rules, you can impose rules on the 140 characters and make it even MORE challenging!
If you’re looking for a way to start, first sign up for a Twitter account (if you don’t already have one) and then look at what some micro-poet wordcrafters do. Here’s a PARTIAL list of people to check out to get an idea of the depth:
@AmaranthEyes * @CarolTurner5 * @poetofbedford * @ShePlaysLoud * @PSuzieqR * @LittleJadeBird * @_megankay_ * @Magenta_Nero * @Jacqueline_Czel * @perlygates @ * @elle0quent_lady * @_Valkyria_ * @beezknez * @catherin03 * @twigsandhearts * @NiluferYM * @allforgiving2
…and many, many others. My apologies to those I’ve missed mentioning.
Find a micro-poem that someone has written, one that speaks to you, and don’t think about it–respond to it with a short poem of your own!