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If Shakespeare Had Twitter

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If Shakespeare was around today he would have undoubtedly used Twitter, and he probably would have loved this.

It's hard to imagine what it would be like to follow him. I suppose every now and then your feed would pop up with a little nugget of literary might that sends the re-tweet world into overdrive.

While these poems are a far cry from his escalated word-smithery, they are still very entertaining.

They are winding sonnets reflecting moods from around the world, touching on topics of the day, drawing individual thoughts and musings and entwining them into prose.

They are made by a website -- or automated system of some kind -- that simply peruses the world of micro blogging, searching for iambic pentameter to piece together into sonnets.

The site, Pentametron, simply says: "With algorithms subtle and discrete / I seek iambic writings to retweet." Above winding tales of frenzied anecdotal narrative.

It builds the sonnets by "digging through hundreds of thousands of tweets per hour," looking for the rare few which happen to be written in the traditional construct. They are then posted on the Pentametron Twitter feed, and published on the website.

It is a clever system, and a creative one too. The website explains how it works -- in simple terms, thank goodness:

"Pentametron takes each of the 30-60 tweets it receives each second, and looks up each word in a dictionary which lists the stress patterns of every word. If the rhythms of all the words put together seem to add up to iambic pentameter, Pentametron retweets the tweet. In the future, when it has more data to work with, it'll start trying to create rhymes."

Such new-age media creativity rarely goes unnoticed, not when it is as interesting as this, and as comical, too. The poems are an eclectic mix of often random, usually trivial thoughts that alone stand forgotten; but together, make up some sort of story. They will be better still if and when they rhyme.

They might not always make obvious sense, well they rarely do, but each one tells a story nonetheless. And the 14-line puzzles work, in a strange and cosmic way.

One such construction, starts like this:

RT @mah_tight_ass: I gotta touch the sky and testify .
about 8 hours ago
RT @notshawngilbert: It was the greatest story ever told.
about 8 hours ago

And it goes on to talk of tattoos, Adele, and at one point questions motherhood. It ends abruptly, by stating: "Tomorrow's gonna be a busy day." How true.

The Internet is awash with little bits of brilliance, in and amongst the cynicism and despair, and this, surely, is one of them.

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