Constraints and creativity: text message

Constraints and creativity: text message poems

Matt Locke is part of the
project/competition team that have launched a text-message poetry
competition in The Guardian. In this introductory article, Andrew Wilson makes some lovely telling points about what the medium and it’s usage inspire…


“…text messages let us think about our reply, choose our words
carefully. They let us try to say something clever or cool, use written
words to strike a pose or have a calculated effect. Then the message
gets sent, the words bounce around in the ether, and at the other end
someone tries to work out what it means: do we really fancy them, or
are we just being friendly? That gap between what we think our words
mean, what we try to make them say, and what they say for themselves,
is poetry.”

and

“Text messages are short, so the subject has to be
tackled in a way that will fit into 160 characters. There isn’t space
to tell much of a story. A text message poem has to find one truthful
moment and describe it, whether it’s seeing the red moon during the
lunar eclipse – or not seeing it becaue it was cloudy; the way everyone
stands up at once during a football match; a child asleep in the back
of the car on the way home from a holiday. Ezra Pound called it the
luminous detail. Find it, show it and let it speak for itself.”

Guardian Unlimited: TxtmsgPoetry

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