6 Amazing Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

4 years ago

So it's the last week of April and you forgot to tweet a single haiku or put a poem in your pocket or write a poem every day or anything. Fortunately for the future of verse, there is the Internet to help you celebrate National Poetry Month with pomp and delight.

#1: Verse by Literary Cats

Because, Internet. The cat vs. dog poetry slam on Literary Cats to celebrate Poetry Month is tremendous (though I'm sad to say, I think the dog wins this one, paws down).

Image: Dr. Hemmert via Flickr


#2: Shakespeare a la Twitter

Pentametron is the incredible Twitter algorithm that finds tweets that happen to be written in iambic pentameter and retweets them as rhyming couplets -- in other words, the BEST THING EVER OF ALL TIME.

The algorithm retweeted a snippet from Patton Oswalt's wonderful response to the Boston Marathon bombings, and the resulting stanza made me cry:

@be_nimble morals #complicated_stuff
Sometimes, potential isn't good enough.
I really wish the sky were clear tonight..
This bringing us into a twitter fight.
Tomorrow gonna be a better day
@You_Stupid_Dog Okay, okay, okay.
The good outnumber you. And always will
Stop asking how the fucking needle fill.

Read the ongoing supersonnet at its most randomly poignant at Pentametron.com.


#3: A Dictionary. In Limericks.

The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form is a volunteer effort attempting to define every freaking word in the English language in five-line anapest form. Estimated completion date: 2039.

AABBAOMG. Here's a sample:

"Distinctly" by SheilaB (Sheila B. Blume)

Herb spoke first, but he stammered and mumbled;
Next came Vi with her slides that were jumbled;
Then Stan spoke succinctly.
We heard him distinctly—
His diction so fine, we were humbled.

Image: Bethany L. King via Flickr


#4: Haikus From the News

The Times Haiku Tumblr pulls 5-7-5 strings from the New York Times archive via algorithm to generate imagery both funny and dark.


#5: Remix Your Own Twitter Stream

Yes, That Can Be My Next Tweet takes your very own personal tweets and mashes them up to create your very own, personal, sometimes eerie, often Gertrude Steinish, and very often spit-takingly hysterical poetry. My favorites (so far) from my own stream:

She REALLY wants a bedazzled Slanket and its own life, and The look was all famous and the visual effects!

Wish you could borrow my cup of Senate. Still 77 cents. Still 77 cents. Still debating work/parenting.

Text from the shot and dance except when we were great change. Marriage IS work. And not his tagline.

I haven't yet tried the app that lets you CROSS TWO STREAMS, but I'm betting it's going to make for an epic editorial meeting very soon.

Image: shawncampbell via Twitter


#6: Tap Your Spines

Go to your bookshelf. Find some titles that seem, somehow, to go together. Stack them up. Take a picture. Tweet to the Spine Poetry hashtag. Presto: You're a poet.

Image: mrsdrebs via Flickr

Found any other genius Internet poetry memes, algorithms, or found verse? Add them in the comments!

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