New service aims to put the poetry into 'texting'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A new text message service that sends a different poem five days a week to subscribers' mobile telephones, offers what its creators refer to as "the chance to have a spacious and refreshing distraction".

A new text message service that sends a different poem five days a week to subscribers' mobile telephones, offers what its creators refer to as "the chance to have a spacious and refreshing distraction".

Examples of the Poem-me service stem from the mysterious "The air was still. It had taken a sleeping pill", to the odd "The barbed wire wove seamlessly through the fog", to the downright weird "The bushes blushed as the sparrows went in and out at feeding time".

Every day, at about 10am – "so you're not just waking up, and you're not too entrenched in the every day", as Darlan Lassalle, the producer of the service puts it – subscribers receive a message delivered automatically. But don't expect to see the English translation of Homer's Iliad soon. Each poem is constrained by the limitations of text messages – which means that it can be a maximum of 160 characters, enough for about 26 words.

Fredrik Lloyd, the poet in residence on the project, embraces the idea of being succinctly profound, or perhaps profoundly succinct. "One of the first things we had to do was to take out the line-breaks, so that every poem appears to be on a single line," he said. "In fact we have had people saying that it's not a proper poem. But this sort of length is how I write."

The service costs £10 for three months.

Comments