Tag Archives: poetry

A short rant

22 May

One thing giving me the shits is this whole ‘oh, look at twitter, isn’t that amazing? All these people writing things in 140 characters or less.’

Brevity is nothing new, peeps. Haiku, anyone?

And shock. Brevity nurtures wit. Really? Oscar Wilde, anyone? Dorothy whatshername?

Look, I wouldn’t be so fussed, but some dude has just signed a five figure deal to publish a book of people’s tweets (I’m not linking to him or any of the articles about him because he doesn’t need me to and because then he’ll think I’m just trying to get his attention so he’ll put me in his next book) and that has tipped me over the edge. Don’t get me wrong. Twitter is fun and all, it’s just that brevity is not a literary revolution.

I dunno, maybe I should be happy that there is a revised and revived interest in poetry…I just wish they’d stop pretending it was all amazing and new.

On a not-unrelated note, this twitter-facebook status crossover is not entirely successful, because twitter asks, ‘what are you doing’ while facebook asks ‘what’s on your mind’?*

It makes for imprecision and imprecision is what poetry is not.

To my mind, the day that Facebook caved to populism and shed the old ‘ThirdCat is…’ civilisation lost a lot.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a sense of perspective to find.

*UPDATED TO ADD: I didn’t really explain myself properly there, it’s only a problem when you’re getting twitter updates automatically sent to update fb statuses, because then you’re answering different questions with the same answer. Anyway, look, a friend has just emailed to tell me I’m losing the plot and has suggested that I (and here I paraphrase) forget about it.