Judith Beveridge’s Twelve Highlights from 2014

By | 24 August 2015

Miro Sandev’s poem ‘poetry is not a meme’ is an ironic take on poetry’s refusal to be subsumed by technological culture. In the octave of the sonnet, the poet uses web jargon and terminology in intelligent and witty ways, effectively undercutting the corporatisation of language. The use of the sonnet form is a grand stroke of irony, for in the sestet the poet draws together the idea of poetry as being like a rampant bug ‘replicating itself, indifferent to host’- yet the sonnet form is formalised and self-contained, so form and content here are in tension. The syntactical complexity of the poem (all one sentence) highlights the idea that the experience of reading poetry is of a totally different order than our encounters with web-language, where our attention can be overtaken by ads and hyperlinks. All in all, this is an intelligent, beautifully layered poem full whose form and content play with each other in intriguing ways.

a poem is not a meme

its interface of diction and cadence
is ill-suited to mobile web versions
so without major surgery it will suffer
on the click-throughs; and another bug
that semantic tangle does not allow for
teasing out discrete interests, hyperlinks
to Google adwords or analytics
the revenue stream will dry up

though poetry can get viral, make you
laugh out loud like a cat furballing
give your senses a rick-rollicking
spin & spur career of lifelong trolling—
it is a selfish gene at its core:
replicating itself, indifferent to host

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