With this new post (in far too long, my apologies), I want to introduce a brand-new art form, one that I am calling “Twitter Poems,” for lack of a better name. Twitter, as you all probably know, is the online micro-blogging app invented in 2006 that allows users to post very short messages. Each message can be only 140 characters long, including word spaces. My kids have been urging me for years to join social media networks and enter the 21st century. They decided that Twitter would be a good way to let me take baby steps into this brave new world. “Stop being a dinosaur,” was their succinct, almost tweet-like way of putting it. So I gave in and joined Twitter.
Much to my dismay, when I began to read other people’s posts, I found most of them loaded with abbreviations, symbols, and references to who knows what. It was like trying to decode some secret language that I wasn’t sure even was a language. As I am already trying to learn one new language (Portuguese), which at my age is not easy to do, I decided that anything I posted would have to be written in plain English.
So I began. I soon discovered that writing anything sensible, lyrical, and meaningful in only 140 characters is quite a trick. Wonderful discipline for a writer, though. The spareness of my tweets began to resemble poetry, which I thought I might share with you. Below is my first blog-posted Twitter poem, in honor of one of my favorite Montlake Fill birds, the Red-winged Blackbird:
In spring the Red-winged Blackbird sings
his cranky song in the marsh,
rough disharmony among the reeds.
I guess even grumps can be in love.