Swiping does not a lot of time take. In order to make a connection, a poem often needs to be read almost instantaneously…
Micropoetry is genre of poetry that is defined by brevity.
To put this simply, a micropoem is a short poem.
Micropoetry, whilst not a new form, has found a home on social media and Twitter and Instagram are key drivers in the growing popularity of this form. By its very nature these two platforms require brevity. Swiping does not a lot of time take. In order to make a connection, a poem often needs to be able to be read almost instantaneously and this makes it much harder for a long work to make the connection needed to truly engage a reader. On Twitter, the poet is further restricted by a limited character count. On Instagram, a micropoem can be defined as one that fits easily on a single post, without the use of the caption.
Where many traditional forms have been flailing, micropoetry has also resulted in a renaissance of the haiku, senryu, katauta, tanka and sedoka. The traditional rules of these forms lend themselves well to the confines of a short work and are now widely practiced. On Twitter the prevalence of these forms have led to the development of specific genres, the Twaiku (also known as Twihaiku or Twitter poetry) and the Captcha.
Outside of the traditional short form poems, there are no specific rules governing the writing of a micropoem. Micropoems are not bound by word, stanza or syllable rules and rhyming is optional. Themes remain at the discretion of the poet and works range from the humorous and bizarre, to the deeply personal and political. It should be noted, that micropoems are not considered to be Flarf poetry, which is written as a deliberate satire of the poetic form and not intended to be serious. The form is written with the ethos that poetic style can be found in almost any text, regardless of length.
This however does not mean that they are simple to write. Micropoetry is a technically difficult form to construct because it requires the poet to make sophisticated word choices, and overcome the challenge of layering complexity and creating imagery and connection in a minimalist form. A micropoem forces the poet to make. Every. Single. Word. Count.
From the outside it might seem like an easy option, but those who practice this poetry form know that it is not always easy to get it right and an excellent micropoem requires the same amount of work, and revision, as their lengthier cousins.
The Annual ǀ 2017
For the purpose of The Annual ǀ 2017 a micropoem is defined as being of 14 lines or less. The poet must also ensure that work fits easily onto a single square Instagram post.
Rayna Halloway ǀ @herheartshapedbox
Based in New Zealand, Rayna is an ever-optimist obsessed with all things poetry. She has aspirations of taking the spoken word world by storm, if only she could get over her stage fright!