Twitter might seem like a curious place to turn to for poetry. You’re probably accustomed to it providing you with a daily dose of news, memes and updates, but I can assure you that there is a vibrant poetic world on Twitter waiting for you to make your way through it. Poetry lovers and non-poetry lovers alike can enjoy all of the wonderful yet unlikely poetic gems that can be found deep within the Twittersphere.
In the midst of self-deprecating comedy, toxic political feuds and hyperactive celebrity fandoms is a subtle space of words and feelings, one where writers of different calibers break hearts with 280 characters or less and build on other fellow writers’ material to bridge together unlikely stories. It is a space filled with wonder and song, one of the most beautiful communities in the vexing chaos that is Twitter.
Here are six Twitter accounts that live up to the hype and give color to this community.
Imagine a warm and slow summer afternoon. Or, if you’re familiar with it, think of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” music video. That is what Charmeuse’s poetry feels like to me. It is soft, shimmering and endlessly dazzling. There is an ethereal quality to the way they talk about books, love and the vulnerability that is innate to the human experience. Even their avatar — a shadow dancing on a sidewalk — follows curated thematic essence.
If it’s romantic melancholia you’re in need of, Charmeuse’s tender truths will lift your spirits and make you feel as if you’re floating way above the ground, ascending to a distant realm of delightful pleasure.
2. Emma Magenta
Soft poetry might speak to the soul, but incisive poetry satisfies the intellect. Emma Magenta’s Twitter account combines the self-conscious cynicism found in our current-day humor with the raw emotion that sits at the bottom of our emotions, which, in the end, gives way to a percipient voice that resonates far and beyond.
Like a pep talk from a knowledgeable friend or wise advice from an elder, Emma Magenta has the poetic reassurance you can turn to in times of doubt or insecurity.
3. Sad Socrates
The wisdom of Socrates but … like … make it sad. Not only is Sad Socrates worth your follow due to the alliterative magnificence of their name, but they’re also an amusing account that imaginatively blurs the line between philosophical maxims and poetic affirmations.
If you’re looking for the new faux-messiah to make sense of the strange world around you, look no further. Sad Socrates has descended onto the shores of Twitter to show us just how absurd our existence really is.
Are the words uttered by Vincent Van Gone meant to exist as the literary translations of Van Gogh’s art? Eh, who knows? Still, just like Sad Socrates, this account takes the allure of a celebrated historical figure and uses it to generate interest in what ends up being absolutely phenomenal writing.
In this case, the tortured artist is a vehicle to express the inner workings of a tortured soul.
Another supremely cool (and decidedly meta) feature of this account is that sometimes other artists (mostly painters, from what I’ve seen) use Vincent Van Gone’s poems or lines as inspiration for their own illustrations, introducing a beautiful blend of words and images that delivers proof of Twitter’s potential for collaborative storytelling.
5. the circus
When the day comes when the gravity of our existence knocks on our front door asking for an explanation, this account could very well be the one to make sense of everything.
The circus manages to conjure the nostalgic existentialism that we all collectively experience and does so while alternating through diverse poetic formats and types of tone and style, leaving us with a multifaceted experience that is representative of life itself.
The account is a hybrid of both evocative contemplations about life and humorous attempts to poke fun at the world and everything inherently silly about it. After all, what is life but a senseless circus?
Sometimes, in poetry, it’s the shortest line that gets to you — the one that either breaks you down completely or brings to life a feeling so visceral you didn’t even realize there were words to describe it.
One sentence is all D’ needs to get their point across. Forget verbose poems or complex mediations, D’ says a lot using few words, which is a testament to their mastery of the language and to the power of words, even when they exist in limited reserves.