I recently had someone tell me they think Twitter is the new poetry.  For those who take the time to carefully and beautifully compose their tweets, I have no problem considering Twitter a valid medium for poetry.

BUT, sometimes, I really think people think that if you write a sentence

and cut it into lines

like this


it becomes poetry.


Because what else makes poetry identifiably “poetry” other than it’s tooootally universal form…

So, I was googling around for a link to the article I just posted (though looking now, it appears WordPress has no memory of this article and I cannot devote anymore time to it tonight, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow) and found this: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/portrait.html

You should take some time to visit and take it all in, but here’s a teaser:

Portrait Poem #2 Example


I am a nutty guy who likes dolphins.
I wonder what I, and the world, will be like in the year 2000.
I hear silence pulsing in the middle of the night.
I see a dolphin flying up to the sky.
I want the adventure of life before it passes me by.
I am a nutty guy who likes dolphins.

I pretend that I’m the ruler of the world.
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I touch the sky, the stars, the moon, and all the planets as
representatives of mankind.
I worry about the devastation of a nuclear holocaust.
I cry for all the death and poverty in the world
I am a nutty guy who likes dolphins.

I understand the frustration of not being able to do something easily.
I say that we are all equal.
I dream of traveling to other points on the earth.
I try to reach out to poor and starving children.
I hope that mankind will be at peace and not die out.
I am a nutty guy who likes dolphins.


So, I don’t mean to be mean, but… REALLY??!

This is a poem?  No.  No.  No.  No. NO!  It isn’t a poem.  Maybe it’d be an interesting way to brainstorm about your identity before you start writing the real poem?  But even that seems (insert adjective here that both describes my disgust and remains behind the line of offensiveness and total judgment).

Just in case anyone needs a laugh — I’m giving up on kindness tonight– here you go:

I am Paula Jones.

I am sixteen years old.
I ride wild stallions.
I collect foreign coins.
My sister has six fingers on her left hand.
My mother and I always get along.
Time has stood still for me.
An arsonist destroyed my home.
My father is a mole in the CIA.

I am Paula Jones.

OR, do you prefer:

I am Art Belliveau.

I love to teach seventh grade.
My wedding was at the Renaissance Festival in Atlanta.
I collect refrigerator magnets.
I wrestled in high school.
I have had two poems published.
I have seen the Northern Lights.
Summertime throws me completely off schedule.
I want to be a famous piano player.
I am Art Belliveau

I was about to get indignant about Art Belliveau’s published poems, but honestly, the word “published” holds so little weight nowadays.

END RANT.  For now…


One thought on “Really, Really?!

  1. I agree with your early sentiments that simply breaking a sentence into lines does not equal poetry (many people make this mistake). Personally I also find the repetitiveness of “I” staring the example poem ordinary (and not required … it has been established it is about “I” no need to repeat it each and every line). Thanks for sharing your frustrations 😛

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