Thursday, 25 April 2013

Can Twitter Make You A Better Poet?

Robin Richardson thinks so.
I was always meticulous about individual lines, but having to make them stand on their own made me think about their function on a whole new level. Every time I post a tweet I ask to myself “is this musically cohesive?” “Does it resonate content-wise without its context?” and most importantly, “Does it give the reader something more than what’s contained in its 140 characters?” This last consideration is what’s really improved how I approach writing. I don’t want these tweets to be clever little quips, or single thoughts that make a person sigh or chuckle. I want them to open infinitely off the edges of the page, or screen, so that each new tweet is the key to its own, much larger universe. Alice Munro is brilliant at this: in a single gesture or off-handed comment her characters inflate before the reader’s eyes, becoming fully realized within those few strokes. Poetry, if anything, should do the same in even fewer strokes.


Nyla said...

I don't understand this--it seems it's the opposite, in the end, of the claim at the beginning not to be "too precious." Maybe I misunderstand, but I read it twice, and still don't get how it's not totally precious.

Robin said...

Hmm, I see what you're struggling with. I think the difference is between what's precious. The form becomes more precious I suppose, but the content, under the alternate persona, becomes freer, and thus, less precious.