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The internet genres of micro poetry: an initiation for novices

Short, funny, without punctuation marks or high-flown rhymes, and containing exactly 34 syllables. Next to all kinds of demotivators, memes and photoshopped images, examples of the so-called micro poetry may be encountered online. Olesya Tsai, a recognized author of funny rhymes in the genre of pirozhki-poroshki, speaks about the appearance and development of the modern samples of deep poetic thinking.

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I am deeply convinced that pirozhki and poroshki are the new format of poetry, which combines two possibilities in it: to create and to ponder. Due to the impression micro poetry produces, it spreads across the internet like an infection. Some people like it, some don’t. However, it is not the hater who is harmful for the micro genres but the ardent and thoughtless amateur. Haters do not harm micro poetry, but the amateurs may be a problem, as they are active and often compromise the genre.

Amateurs name pirozhki chastushki and refer to poroshki as pirozhki; besides, they use uppercase letters and punctuation marks in their naïve artistic attempts. They confuse the number of syllables and ignore the word stress. They use the obscene language and trivialities in large amounts, believing that the essence of a micro poem is to produce bile and to blame all. Quoting this or that poem, an amateur does not mention the author (“why, there are only four lines in it: art in the internet belongs to people”). In fact, amateurs ignore all the laws of the network micro poetry. Of course, I would like to reduce the number of amateurs versus the number of connoisseurs and authors.



Pirozhki

The genre of pirozhki originated from the Japanese haiku. In 2003, poet Vladislav Kungurov (al cogol) offered a new rigid poetic format at the website of haiku lovers: four lines written in blank iambic tetrameter, 9–8–9–8 syllables, without punctuation marks and uppercase letters.

The rhythm of a tetrameter, reminding of Pushkin, in combination with beautiful images, did not remain unnoticed. Several poets liked the genre, after which it soon began to be supported by numerous enthusiasts and the public. This is what the first ‘pirozhok’ looked like:
When a genre is formed, some magic works to bring the right people in the right place. Due to this attraction, the backbone of the authors was formed. Thus, the classic pirozhki appeared.


There is a funny and almost mystical fact. In parallel with pirozhki and even before their emergence, the St. Petersburg group Mindless worked in the same rhythm but with all the punctuation marks:
To be sure, the inventor of the pirozhki did not know those creations. However, such a coincidence could not but bring about several waves of discussions, which resulted in the consensus in the community: considering the genes of Pushkin in the genome of every Russian-speaking person, it was senseless to argue as to who was the inventor of the genre. As far as the genre of poroshki is concerned, there is no doubt about the participation of Mindless in its appearance.

Poroshki

In 2011, some young pirozhki authors devoted to the genre worked in the group called ‘alternative sandbox’. Having read many creations of Mindless, the group’s administrator Aleksey Soloviev (Solovey) suggested preserving the format of a pirozhok, cutting down the fourth line and rhyming it with the second line. Inspiration was driven by the following impromptu of Mindless:
Solovey suggested taking this format as a basis:
The genre ‘span off’ immediately. Already two days after, several hundreds of people were writing in the group established for publication of the best poroshki, without any advertising involved.

As soon as the classical team of the genre ‘ancestors’ saw the situation developing fast, they decided to create a closed website with a threshold and strict criteria for admitting new authors, something like an exercise site to control the quality. Due to these measures, they were able to form a team consisting of two dozen of truly talented authors and to protect the genre from maniac writers.

Impromptus

Several classics the authors of pirozhki gladly joined the team of the beginning authors of poroshki. Sometime later, the originators of Mindless were invited to join the club. The number of the admirers of all the mentioned variations skyrocketed: the readers multiplied, the best authors began to be quoted, published, and invited to talk on television and radio.

In 2013-2014, a new period in development of the small genres of the network poetry occurred. It was proposed in the social VKontakte network to revive the Mindless movement and their impromptus. Here complete absence of any rules was meant, however, poems consisting of two lines became most popular. It was that format that became extremely popular in the internet:

Depresski

Just as Pushkin’s iambic rhythm, depresski had been part of the public conscience long before they emerged. Many years ago, some joker remade the first part of Aleksey Pleshcheev’s poem “Autumn has come”, and several funny variations have long been played with since then:
However, depresski became a mass art when one of the beginning poroshki authors shared an incident with the audience. A caretaker told her son in the day care to learn Pleshcheev’s poem not in the original form but in the distorted and absurd format. Instead the original! Soon depresski became an individual popular and strong genre:


Forbidden

Politics and current events are not welcomed in the genres of the network micro poetry. In 2017, the obscene language was banned in the poroshki. Topicality is not a goal in the micro genre: here an interesting image is appreciated. Yet, topical poems do become popular. People like poems about broken hearts, the absence of money or the specifics of the internet. They repost them, send them out to friends and family, to make them smile or sigh sadly.

How and where to read the micro genres

Now several thousand authors are permanently creating poetry in the internet. Micro poetry is a productive creative environment, and the triage skills will certainly be helpful. The form identifies the genre. Then, out of the available variety, you should select what is to your liking: humor of all kinds, lyrics, philosophy, absurd, etc.

It is better to read good regular micro genres at special theme portals. There are several publics in social networks where the best creations from all the genres are collected. Besides, there are divisions into themes: light and romantic or, on the contrary, dirty and vulgar.

As an author, you can enter this world from several platforms. The classics’ groups are closed, and it is difficult to get there. But who knows, maybe one day you will find yourself among those whose creations are torn to quotations, are liked by all and reposted.

Olesya Tsai


Olesya lives in Taschkent and works in the internet marketing sector. She is interested in poetry and micro poetry and a member of the seminar of young authors at the Uzbek author association. In 2017 she published her micro poetry book “Twenty Clamps”.

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