Sunday, March 20, 2011

For Credit: Spring Break Ruminations on Technology and Poetic Form

There's a story in today's New York Times (Week in Review) about whether or not "the literary flowering of Twitter may actually be taking place," particularly in the form of "Twitter haiku": 140-character poems. The Times's editors asked four prominent poets to try their hand at this evolving form; you can find their results here.

What do you think: a gimmicky flash-in-the-pan, or do the expectations and limits imposed by new media offer a new realm for creativity?

UPDATE: The comments thus far reveal some general bewilderment about the nature of Twitter. Interesting generational divide here! It takes me about ten minutes--and two tries, and much swearing--to text the babysitter about a minor change in the after-school schedule, but Twitter has been on my map of significant resources for a while now. (Full disclosure: I have a twitter account, but I have yet to enter the world of tweeting.) For all the bad press it gets, Twitter seems (IME) to promote less narcissistic self-narration than Facebook; a lot of people use it as a sort of super-interactive miniblog for personal interests, political involvement, and networking. For an example, here's a link to my colleague Ted Underwood's Twitter feed, which is public (which is why I feel comfortable linking to it here). As you'll see if you click on the link, he uses Twitter as a way to connect with other scholars who are active in the burgeoning field of digital humanities, particularly as it pertains to C18 and C19 literature; there's also some political chatter in there.

Deadline: Monday (3/28), start of class.