Friday, August 28, 2009


cross posted from via negativa

"Mention micropoetry to most people, and naturally they think you?re talking about haiku. In fact, a 31-syllable tanka also fits snugly into a 140-character post on Twitter, Identica, or similar micromessaging services. But I?ve been compiling a list of other, mostly Western models that Twitter poets might derive inspiration from as well."

These include Sappho fragments, Biblical one-liners, Martial's epigrams, blues. dichos, selected Modermist poems (Pound, Williams, Machado) and more.

PS jarchas belong here too.


  1. Okay, I'll bite, what's a jarcha? Love this post, I'll self-identify as a micro-poet easily! Dale

  2. medieval Spanish lyric form, also called kharja, possibly earliest, refrain from an al-Andalus form, muwashshah, written in Arabic or Hebrew.

    About 70 jarchas in Old Spanish have been found, most in a Cairo synagogue, and are the earliest Spanish lyrics. Written by Jews, they include Arabic endearments, referring to the beloved as habibi...

    Vayse meu corachón de mib:
    ya Rab, si me tornarád?
    Tan mal meu doler li-l-habib!
    Enfermo yed, cuánd sanarád?

    My heart has left me,
    Oh Lord, will it ever return?
    I ache for my beloved!
    Heartsick, when will I recover?

    Despite authorship by male poets, close analysis suggests that these refrains originated as young women's laments.

    Kharjas/ jarchas are the earliest known documents of the oral-traditional (eg spoken word) Romance lyric poetry sung in Medieval Iberia and throughout the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages and even before.


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