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Songbird Poetry

February 26, 2012

I’ve birthed poetry and released it unto the world. Go forth and flourish, child; grow beyond my wildest expectations. Fly to the highest branches and sing your lungs out. Shout your name above the rooftops. Blend with the ether and bring joy to the world. You are free.

Pardon my parental pride. Perhaps it’s premature. But I have a premonition this poetry will pair perfectly with post-modern pioneering. It’s precise and practical though possibly intractable; a phonetic aesthetic that’s always kinetic.

Now I have tried, and it’s true, and I must confess: it’s hard to write a poem that is 140 characters – not one more and definitely no less!

There it is – one simple rule. Including punctuation and spaces, a songbird poem must be comprised of exactly 140 characters. This is the maximum length – for those who don’t know – of a tweet through the social media network of twitter.com. A tweet is kind of a cross between a text message and a facebook status update.

The idea occurred as I was listening to an (unnamed) radio talk show host rant about over-tweeting. That is, writing a message over 140 characters and having it broken into multiple tweets. The host was of the opinion that the message’s significance was lost when it got broken up.

Now, I’ve never had the urge to join twitter. I don’t care about breaking news and few of my friends tweet. So while I thought it was a good idea I didn’t have anything to do with it. I didn’t even have anyone to give the idea to. But it kept festering in my mind, and when I finally sat down to compose a poem of 140 characters I realized how tedious it was to count them. What would a twitter-er do?

Poetry for the birds. I think that twitter’s absurd. But I will join it because at times even an artist must duck down and follow the herds.

Folks, I joined twitter. I did it for the character counter. But having gone this far I figured why not start the movement myself? Release a few snatches of birdsong into the Ethernet and see what happens.

The poems seem to be a cross between a haiku and a koan, and somewhat self-reflective. That would be a great character to bring to social media. But a parent can only guide their child, and I expect to see lots of @’s and #’s and LOL’s when this catches on. That’s okay. The spirit of the songbird will be preserved in its length. Freedom within a form. Truth in a tweet.

What do you think? Are you ready to release your inner songbird?

Would a silly twitter-er be stymied or bitter if it turned out there were a wittier chitter-er than ever considered by a songbird like her?

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