Fun Things To Blog: Poememes
A Poememe is the internet version of the game telephone. The name is a compound of the words poetry and meme and was inspired by a scene from the movie The Princess Bride. The object is to write the first few lines of a poem and then send it out into the webernet to be completed.
There are two types of Poememes. Complete and Perpetual. The Complete Poememe is where you send the poem to another blogger (or bloggers) to finish. You then post all of the results so all of the participants can see each others’ creativity.
For example in the movie, The Princess Bride, Inigo and Fezik are on the ship about to set sail. Vizinni, their captain, has just finished yelling at Fezik. So to take his mind of the tongue lashing Inigo engages Fezik in a Poememe.
Inigo: That Vizinni, he can… fuss.
Fezik: I think he like to scream at us.
Inigo: Probably he mean no harm.
Fezik: He’s really, very short on charm.
Inigo: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizinni: Enough of that!
Inigo: Fezik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezik: If there are, we’ll all be dead.
Vizinni: Stop that rhyme, now, I mean it.
Fezik: Anybody want a peanut?
In this Poememe Inigo sends one line to Fezik who completes the rhyme and sends it back. Even though they continue back and forth, the Complete Poememe ends when Fezik responds and begins again when Inigo says another line.
A Perpetual Poememe is more like the game telephone. You send out the first few lines of a poem to another blogger who adds a line and sends it to another blogger to add a line and so on and so forth.
For example, you start the poememe:
There once was a priest from Nantucket.
You send it to Mary who adds:
He walked by a petunia and plucked it.
Mary sends it to Tom who adds:
Inside was a bee,
Tom sends it to Roger who adds:
That stung him on the knee
And so on and so forth.
Both types of Poememes can be used for any size group, however just keep in mind that the larger the group the more information needs to be collected and the more easily the Poememe can become unweildly.
Here’s how to organize a Poememe round.
1. Pick a theme/tone
Just like poems, the types of Poememes can traverse the range of human emotions and poetry formats, from funny limericks to a thoughtful Haiku. In the Poememe instructions, write the theme you are going for (funny, romantic, holiday) and the format (Rhyming, Limerick, Haiku).
2. Pick a length
Decide how long you want the Poememe to be and how many lines you want the blogger to contribute. For example with the Complete Poememe, if you want a four line rhyming poem about shoes, you could start it off by writing two lines and then have the receiver finish the last two lines. You don’t want to overburden the blogger so it is best to keep these types of Poememes short and sweet, four to six lines at most.
It is also recommended that you set a limit on the Perpetual Poememe otherwise it could populate out of control and you could easily end up with 300 (or more!) lines. Write something to the effect of ‘When this Poememe reaches 10 lines, send it back to the originator’ and then include your email or blog address for the last contributor to get it back to you.
3. Tracking contributions
Perhaps the best part of the Poememe is knowing who said what. Instruct participants to hyperlink their lines to their blog address so that readers can simply click the line and visit them.
4. Send it out
When you are ready to send out the Poememe, pick blog friends who are most likely to participate, tag them and have fun.
5. Bringing it home
When all the Poememes are done devote a blog to showcasing them.
There are a millions ways you can have fun with Poememes. You can pick a circle of friends and make it a weekly blog thing, rotating creation responsibilities every week or you can just create a random Poememe, send it into the wild to see how it fares. Either way this is a fun activity that any blogger of any age and writing ability can participate in. Have fun!