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Meet Poetweet: A tool that shows you the poetry in your tweets

A screenshot from (Poetweet.)
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“I guess this is a stalemate then
It is The Worst Year
What! When??
Hear hear.”

Those are the opening lines of a four-stanza poem titled “Of Comments,” written by one of the world’s emerging great poets: Twitter dot com, with an assist by yours truly.

Twitter, of course, didn’t actually write that poem, but a new tool called Poetweet built it by analyzing all of my tweets for patterns that fit into certain poetic forms.

This, for example, is a beautiful three-stanza Rondel mined from the tweets of my colleague Elahe Izadi:

And here, an emotive, heart-rending work derived from the tweets of another colleague, Michael Gold:

Wesley straight trollin indeed.

Poetweets, apparently from b_arco, is a sparse product, with little to offer on its site aside from the tool itself, but the idea of creating tiny works of art or entertainment based on automated mining of tweets isn’t exactly new. Bots, or accounts run by scripts rather than humans, are one of the Twitter’s quirkiest phenomenons and have been doing this for years, gathering followings ranging from a few dozen to tens of thousands. They can be personal, reflecting the traits and voice of the account they mimic, or broad and undefined, even latching onto current events for high-profile, hilarious hijinks.

Olivia Taters is among the best-known of this brand of absurdist, automated Twitter amusement, gathering more than 4,500 followers and a considerable amount of media attention. The account takes on the persona of a ~Twitter teen~ and, surprisingly, it has passed itself off as real enough to engage with actual, human beings (teens and adults alike).

The most famous bot (or whatever it was) Twitter has produced is undoubtedly @horse_ebooks, an account as close to legendary as one can get on Twitter. What started as an automated feed tweeting snippets of text from a shady book seller turned into a Internet phenomenon that, unlike most Twitter in-jokes, found an audience beyond the world of 140-character messages, even pulling in Susan Orlean of The New Yorker.

Bots have since mainstreamed, becoming a somewhat regular part of Twitter for a certain subset of users. On Media Twitter, for example, they are all but the norm, easily within the reach of anyone able to write a simple-ish script (or those who know a person with such talents).

But for the rest of us, finding the art in our own tweets has never been easier. I believe the poet @timherrera said it best: