This semester I taught a second-year Poetry subject that introduces students to various forms and styles of poetry. One of the things I like best about teaching poetry subjects is showing my students that poetry isn't some kind of rarefied art form open only to those 'smart' enough to 'work it out', but something vital, relevant, electrifying and even, dare I say it, fun.
I especially love poetry memes because they're such a great example of just how much fun you can have with poetry and poetic convention, as well as how wonderfully flexible language is. People delighting in linguistic play on the internet is one of my favourite things, so the week we did the sonnet, I decided to help explain iambic metre by using a meme I'd been seeing a lot of at the time.
The meme in question is called 'bredlik' (among other things) and, like most memes these days, started on Reddit and found a home on Tumblr. Each poem is in iambic dimeter and consists of a six-line stanza followed by a two-line punchline, which reminds me a little of a Shakespearean volta. The phonetic spelling is in line with the animal-speak that the internet is so fond of (see LOL-speak or LOLCat speak, doggo, birb, and many, many more.). I find the effect both oddly musical and very amusing because of the often innovative alternative spellings people come up with to fit the meme.
Anyway, I was compiling all the instances of it I had found, as well as the discussions about its form and structure that I'd come across (as one does on a Sunday afternoon) and Ameel suggested turning it into a PowerPoint presentation. So we did. I'm quite happy with what we came up with so I've uploaded it here. If nothing else, it's proof that rhyming iambic verse is alive and well out there in the digital world.
If you've not come across this meme before, I hope you enjoy this little foray into the delightful silliness of internet poetry.