Thursday 17 January 2019

Meet the Twitter poet replying to viral tweets in verse

Joe Daniels wants to get more people into poetry via social media with #apoemforyou.

Twitter tweet button (Chris Ison/PA)
Twitter tweet button (Chris Ison/PA)

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

When Jac Rayner tweeted about buying toilet seats from Amazon her notifications went through the roof as she racked up thousands of likes, retweets and comments.

Among the replies was one from Joe Daniels – a guy who hopes to bring poetry to a wider audience by creating poems in response to viral social media posts.

In the past few weeks, Daniels’ poems have responded to news stories and tweets as varied as the end of the world and the vocabulary used by chefs.

The guy behind the account is 24-year-old Daniels, who lives in Sheffield and works as a head of content for a software firm.

He also runs the account A Haiku Daily which provides, unsurprisingly, a daily haiku. That’s a poem which has a set number of syllables on each of the three lines: five on the first and last lines, seven on the middle line.

He hopes to bring poetry to a wider audience via interacting with popular social media posts.

“I think it’s a shame that poetry isn’t read more widely,” he told Press Association.

“A lot of people are put off poetry because of how it’s taught in school. It’s bland and obtuse and pretty boring. But I think poetry can be fun and accessible – just look at the prevalence of rap music – that’s essentially poetry set to a beat. I want to show people that poetry isn’t just archaic language and that it can be enjoyable to read.”

“The daily haikus came about because I liked the idea of creating something that people could almost rely on and come back to. Haikus are probably the shortest form of poetry and so they suit the likes of Twitter and Instagram really well.”

Although the haikus are a daily offering Daniels prefers writing poems in responses to viral tweets, signing off his offerings with #apoemforyou.

“Originally I chose tweets at random but soon realised that it would work better and reach a wider audience if I chose tweets that were going viral – or semi-viral at least.

“I guess I look for tweets that are popular, and that cover an interesting topic. Then I’ll see if I can come up with anything.”

It seems to be working so far.

Daniels can also be found on Instagram at Poethejoet and AHaikuDaily.

Press Association

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