Poetry Sunday: A Smattering of Twitter Poems

in poetry •  3 months ago

In May 2013, I started an experiment. I began posting Twitter poems once a day. If you know anything about #Twitter, in those days there was a strict character limit of 140 characters on every tweet. So you had to be careful to say what you needed to say in that short space. I got fairly good at it.

Here's the first Twitter poem I published on May 1, 2013:

May Day, May Day
Is a hey day
for hearsay

Okay, that's not much. But what do you expect from a medium whose big idea is to think small?

I kept this experiment going through 2015. One month in--on June 1, 2013--I started posting three Twitter poems a day. I kept this routine going for quite some time. The first poem in June that year read:

At twilight
I Twittered

and frittered
away the day

Dawn said
I should have
lit up the night

I later started publishing my Twitter poems into e-books and sold them on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. They're still available at these venues for folks who like to read e-books. The first of these was titled "A Twitterific Year." Here's the cover (copyright owned by yours truly):

A Twitterific Year

Prior to starting that experiment, I had published poems on Twitter sporadically using the #twitpoem hashtag, which I created. That hashtag is still being used, though I haven't used it for a number of years.

I founded the hashtag in 2009. In 2011, I published my first Twitpoem e-book titled, creatively, "Twitter Poems." The cover is nothing to speak of, primarily because I did it myself.

Twitter Poems

Here's a small sampling of poems from that first Twitter poem e-chapbook:

Twitpoem #1

Phantom fans
Chase fame
Find fools goad

Twitpoem #5

Chasing chickens is a game
ah, but to catch them
now that's insane

Twitpoem #11

I need what we all need:
A hand,
A heart,
Love that lies,
And a fresh cup of coffee

If you look for a common thread that runs through these Twitter poems, from the time I started publishing them in 2009 to the time I stopped in 2015, I don't think you'll find it. Some of them are silly, some are serious; some tackle themes of love while others go after politics or life in general. The breadth of topics addressed in them runs the gamut of what you'll find in all of literature. And some of them are simply word games, like this one from "Twitpoems":

Twitpoem #7

tuft
stuffed
muffed
luft-

waffe
gaffe
laugh
staff-

ed
fed
led
bed

lam
slam
sham
dam

nation

Twitpoems
Image copyrighted by Allen Taylor

Once this caught on, I began to publish these Twitter poem electronic chapbooks monthly. I did this for a while until publishing the bigger, more comprehensive full-sized e-book of Twitter poems "A Twitterific Year." It truly is, as the name suggests, a full year's worth of Twitter poems. A thousand of them in one volume, including many that were only published in that book.

Some of the e-chapbooks had rather mundane names, like "August Twitpoems." That was followed by "September Twitter Songs." Others got silly, like "Dinkle Dorkle and Other Nut Cases.

Dinkle Dorkle Twitter poems
Yep, this is my own creation, as well.

Here's a sampling from Dinkle Dorkle:

Twitpoem #13

Dinkle Dorkle wore a snorkle everywhere he went
And when he broke it he bespoke, "It isn't worth a cent!"

Twitpoem #30

I'm at a loss for words
speaking to the birds
about nature;

tomorrow we'll speak
beak to beak
creature to creature.

The poems are all numbered, not titled. That's pretty obvious, I think. But you should know the numbering system is per book, so every book has a #1, a #3, and a #30. Each of the chapbooks represents a month of Twitter poems. The big one represents a year.

All of them are published at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. Feel free to check them out. No affiliate links were used in this post.

twitter poems

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Review Me, Please

While you're here, check out the backside 5 (my five latest posts):

And some poetry:


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Such an awesome idea @blockurator! It definitely shows your sense of humor. I never really go into twitter. I tried. I would have loved to seen your poems along the way, I might have stayed.

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Ha ha. Thanks. A lot of them were really silly.

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Too me those are the best. The spur of the moment little stress relievers.

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Ha ha. Yeah. In those days, I needed that.

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You are so good with poems.

There is some special thing about poem. Short yet profound. I seldom on twitter. But your idea is so great. #twitpoem

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Thank you. I had fun with it, for a time.

Popped in from the mancave to say "Hi" It would be awesome if you shard some of your e-publishing experience with the cave!

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Yeah, I can do that. Anything in particular you have in mind?

Well, one of the consequences of the internet is abundance of content. You were inspired by Twitter. My second poetry book was drawn from and inspired by news, or rather so-called news. As far, as i can see from your Twitter-driven poems, results are similar.

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Likely so. Thanks for reading. I hope you liked at least one of them. :-)

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Sure, i did. Twitpoem #30 for example. If you go through my Steemit blog, you'll find some samples of my poems with similar characteristics.

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Yeah, I'll check them out.

This was a pretty fun read, especially with a little added speed. :)

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That is pretty cool that you set up that # and worked so hart on this. Your stuff always impresses me.

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Thanks. A lot of it is just doodling. :-)

Neat poems! Never used twitter, though.

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You made the most of it and succeeded!
You shine through as witty and cultured, as always.
Good day to you @blockurator.

That's really cool @blockurator 👐👏👍 I heard about the serial of twitter poem years ago, I hsve twitter but never really get into it because I'm busy with facebook and still couldn't get over the missing of multiply.com.

Some Indonesian twitter celebrities even published a book which it content are poems thread they twitt, but I don't have the book 😆 I like poetry and yours are cool, even I'mnot a native english speaker, I enjoy your twittered poetries.

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Thank you. That's very kind. I appreciate it.

I like your humorous Twitter poems - although I never use Twitter. Thank u :-)

very cool and interesting project, i really enjoyed

At twilight
I Twittered

and frittered
away the day

Dawn said
I should have
lit up the night

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Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

Some of these tweets made me think of Old Mother Goose nursery rhymes. They are silly, but tgey are also catchy! I like them.
It is so neat that you had the time to experiment with it for a whole year. Self-publishing is not so difficult nowadays and it is great because you are in control of your own project. I like that you realized the covers for your books. I did the same. I wanted to do everything on my own. I might have even spent more time drawing the interior illustrations than writing the poems.

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I did the #twitpoem project for three years. I published one book with a whole year of poems and several smaller books that each only contained on month of poems. So, while I published to Twitter for about three years, I put the poems in books for about a year and half. Thanks for reading. They were fun.

Awesome :0 I did not know you were on twitter like me :) I have been doing there some poetry too... Was thinking to make series of books out of those tweets ... Will PM you about that for sure. Awesome stuff man :) Applause.

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Cool. It's been awhile since publishing poetry on Twitter, but it was fun.

@blockurator,

I've got a Twitter account and post my poems (usually via a link) there as well. I haven't found it's an environment conducive to much "intellectual depth" (and hence poetry) ... it's like everyone's on a sugar high and can't take the time to think for 30 seconds. There are exceptions.

I've actually been amazed by the differences in personality of each social media platform. Other than Steemit, I found Instagram was the most receptive to poetry.

Have you had any experience posting poetry outside of Twitter/Steemit?

Quill