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Users and Brands Take to Twitter to Celebrate National Poetry Day

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Today (October 8th) is the UK's annual National Poetry Day. As with most other, similar 'appreciation days' as I just now decided they should be called, the internet has allowed them to become far more than a reason for teachers to tweak their lesson plan for the day, or a bunch of Laureates to star in a preachy BBC special. Remove the spaces between the words, add a weird little symbol and all of a sudden you have a way to broadcast that dirty little haiku you wrote last week while you were supposed to doing data entry.
That's just the tip of the iceberg though, as well as the predictable slew of passing limericks, both users and branded promotional pages have found some pretty inventive ways to celebrate the day on Twitter. Publishers are running contests, famous poets and authors are sharing the work of their personal favourites, and there's a lot of call for themed, 140-character pieces. 


BBC Sport are asking for, you guessed it, sports poems, The National Portrait gallery want people to craft odes, the British museum tweeted an image of a Japanese scroll which actually depicts a poetry contest as a source of inspiration and Give Blood NHS is asking for blood themed work. Hopefully that last one won't end up yielding too many poems about vampires.


Of course, the main push is coming from the organisers behind the day itself. Both #nationalpoetryday and #thinkofapoem are their doing, and you can also add what's apparently now being called a 'Twibbon' to your profile image for the day which declares that you are a poet. There's nothing stopping just anyone from doing it, but I would exercise caution, otherwise you might find yourself stood on stage at a slam with an expectant crowd in front of you and a very stormy bladder. All this is being funnelled through the Poetry Day @poetrydayuk account, which is worth keeping an eye on, as it will also be retweeting all the most interesting fare from around the UK as the day goes on.


There's plenty going on out in the real world as well. Every poetry day has a theme, and this year's is 'Light'. As such, a large group of people who work with light in Bristol, be they an electrician, techie or fire-eater, will participate in a live reading which will be up on a screen in the city centre. The London Underground tannoy system will be playing host to rhyming stylings throughout the day and in Wales four poets are currently locking in a room, tasked with writing 100 Welsh poems within the next 24 hours. 


That all might sound a bit daunting, but with such an active Twitter presence, it's never been easier to get involved on a more casual basis. So if all this poetic percolation is starting to inflate your imagination, head over to Twitter and join the rest of the nation. I'd like to bookend this by pointing out that my poetry is usually better than that




Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Users and Brands Take to Twitter to Celebrate National Poetry Day Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, October 08, 2015 Rating: 5

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