A few days ago, I sat in a restaurant two tables away from a group of young people who, instead of chatting among themselves, were all using their cell phones. I say using because they weren’t talking; instead, they were all busily texting. It amazed me to think that instead of enjoying one another’s company, they spent their time together texting other people – even after their meals were served! It wasn’t an uncommon sight. I’ve seen groups of teenagers walking downtown and talking or texting on their cell phones, and I’ve seen people in cars talking on cell phones while driving (even though that’s now against the law). I think one of the funniest things I’ve seen was a young couple sitting on a park bench, sweetly cuddled up to one another, each with an around the other, attention completely focused on their cell phones, their free hands texting away. It all made me think about telephones and how much phoning has changed since I was a little girl and we had a single two-party-line phone in our living room.
With all that in mind, how about writing some "phone poems" this week?
- Write a poem about the best or worst phone message you’ve ever received.
- Write a poem about cell phones.
- Write a poem about texting instead of talking.
- Write an amusing phone poem, for example, a humorous ode to the cell phone.
- Write a poem that’s a “phone call” to the past or to the future (Here’s an example from Poetry Daily: http://www.cstone.net/~poems/phonesal.htm).
- Write a poem in the form of a text message (the title might be something like: “Text Message to _______________.”
- Write a poem about a mysterious phone call. (Feel free to fictionalize with this one.)
- Write a poem about visual and verbal communication via cell phones.
- Write a poem using only texting abbreviations. (Imagine Shakespeare writing “2b or not2B.”) Click here for a comprehensive list of texting abbreviations.
- Write a poem about “mobilogy” (the effects of cell phone use on behaviors, community, culture, entertainment, and economics).
- Write a poem about answering machines (or a particular answering machine).
P.S. Did you know that the Poetry Foundation has a Poetry Mobile App for iPhone and Android? http://www.poetryfoundation.org/mobile/