In the age of mechanical reproduction, poetry is easy. All you have to do is tweet.
The magical site Poetweet will make a poem from your tweets. Tell it what your Twitter handle is and it'll scour your tweets for poetic fodder.
Next, choose one of three poetic forms: A sonnet (14 lines, popular with Shakespeare), a rondel (from French lyric poetry, 4 lines, 4 lines, 5 lines) or an indriso, (eight verses, created by Spanish poet Isidro Iturat).
And voila! After a short wait, your poem is done. It may not be a good poem, however. This, from my Twitter account @paperhaus, is pretty awful:
by Carolyn Kellogg
Snowbird reporter season begins
In a letter to be auctioned
All the Nazis are villains.
Staring sadly into middle distance
Ray Bradbury's house. Philistines.
Launch mistakes (in my experience)
So free! (carrying only 2 phones)
Orange Kitty still needs a home
Part of the LA Times basement.
That are humanized ever ever ever.
I did indeed visit the L.A. Times basement. The orange kitty still needs a home. I have tweeted -- recently, sadly -- about Ray Bradbury's house. I'm not sure when I tweeted about nut mixes, or if that's just a good generic title for these kind of poems. And apparently, I tweet exclamations of appreciation and approval, which look awfully silly loaded into a poem.
Chances are, you're a more gracefully poetic tweeter. Give it a try, although the tool may take some time to work, and occasionally gets stuck. Maybe it's waiting for the muse to strike -- or, more likely, its system has gotten overloaded -- but it will eventually come back online.
Poetweet was created by the Brazil Contemporary Art center, or b_arco, in Sao Paolo; although this version is in English, its original language is Portuguese. The center offers creative writing workshops and launched Poetweet this month as an innovative way to spread the word.
"The poems are made by combining all user tweets and finding rhymes between them, creating curious results and sometimes surreal," the center explains, via a Web translator. "The site encourages the discussion of what is poetry and the final screen calls upon the interested: 'How about now create real? Meet the cultural center b_arco.'"
Book news and more; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter.