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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Micropoetry and minipoems

Thanks to Twitter and mobile phone users, poets have developed micropoetry as a poetic form with no particular rules except brevity.

To be precise, a micropoem has a maximum of 160 characters to fit a mobile phone, but the more common length maxes out at 140 characters since that’s the original limit on Twitter.

Does it matter? Well, yes. Chances are, you might send a micropoem on your cell phone only to a friend, whereas a poem you tweet could potentially be seen by thousands, especially if you use a hashtag such as #micropoem or #micropoetry.

Those hashtags will also help you to find samples of micropoems with countless possibilities for subjects, tone, purpose, or style. Other examples can be found on my previous post “Micropoetry and More.”

While all haiku can be classified as micropoetry, not all micropoems are traditional haiku – nature poems of three lines with a reference to a particular season and syllabic count of 5/ 7/ 5.

Many micropoems have no known form, whereas others might be classified as a traditional English couplet (two lines of metered verse with end-line rhyme) or a quatrain (four metered lines with rhyme.) Sometimes poets simply devise a poem with short lines or a set number of words that stay within the 140-character limit for tweeting.

Similar to and sometimes synonymous with micropoetry, minipoems have become increasingly popular too. These poems might go over the lines drawn by Twitter but, nevertheless, remain concise. For example, nursery rhymes, short psalms, and quatrains with no rhyme or meter might be too long to tweet but still fall into the minipoem or short poem category.

Mini or micro, the idea is to focus on brevity, beauty, and insight as you experiment, invent, or commemorate an event worth taking note and passing along to others.

Mary Sayler, © 2016

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