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ShaL i compR thee 2a summer's dai? Famous lines from poetry in text-speak


Forget penning odes with a quill and parchment – predictive text is the poetry tool of the future according to Carol Ann Duffy, who believes "the poem is a form of texting ... it's the original text."

The poet laureate has said the ancient literary art will not die out because its concise use of language appeals to young people.

“It's a perfecting of a feeling in language - it's a way of saying more with less, just as texting is," she told The Guardian. “We've got to realise that the Facebook generation is the future - and, oddly enough, poetry is the perfect form for them.”

The Scottish poet and playwright, who became the first female poet laureate in 2009, has launched a competition for secondary school pupils, inviting them to write their own anthologies.

She added, “Poems are the original text messages in that they use language in a very concise way and I think they will become more relevant in this century than in the last century."

"We are reading less now than we did and a lot of young people spend a lot of time in front of a computer on Facebook or tweeting. So the poem is the literary form that is the most accessible simply because of its brevity.”

With this in mind, take a look at how lines from 10 famous poems work in text speak:

Valentine - Carol Ann Duffy


Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

It promises light

like the careful undressing of love.

In Text Speak:

not a red @}--{-- o a satin hart.

i giv u an onion.

it iz a moon wrapped n brown papR.

it promises lite

lIk d careful undressing of ♥.

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? - William Shakespeare


Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And Summer's lease hath all too short a date.

In Text Speak:

shaL i compR thee 2a summer's dai?

thou art mo ♥ly & mo temper8:

ruff winds do shAk d darlin buds of May,

& summer's lease hath aL 2short a d8.

Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley


My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

In Text Speak:

mni ozymandias, king o kings:

l%k on my works, ye mitey, & despair!

This Be The Verse - Philip Larkin


They f*** you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

In Text Speak:

dey f00k u up, ur mum & dad.

dey mA nt mean2, bt dey do.

dey fiL u w d faults dey had

& + sum xtra, jst 4u.

The Applicant - Sylvia Plath


First, are you our sort of a person?

Do you wear

A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,

A brace or a hook,

Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch.

In Text Speak:

1st, RU R sort of a prsn?

do u wear

a glaS i, falz tEth o a crutch,

a brace o a hook,

rubR (.)(.) o a rubR crotch.

A Red Red Rose - Robert Burns


O my Luve's like a red, red rose,

That's newly sprung in June:

O my Luve's like the melodie,

That's sweetly play'd in tune.

In Text Speak:

o my ♥'s lIk a red, red rose,

that's newly sprung n june:

o my ♥'s lIk d melody,

that's sweetly played n tune.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud - William Wordsworth


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils.

In Text Speak:

i wandered lonely az a cloud

dat floats on hI o'er vales & hills,

wen aL @ 1ce I saw a crowd,

a host, of golden daffodils.

How Do I Love Thee? - Elizabeth Barrett Browning


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

In Text Speak:

how do i ♥ thee? lt me count d ways.

i ♥ thee2 d depth & breadth & h8t

my soul cn reach, wen fEln out of site

4 d ends of bn & ideal grace.

Ode To A Nightingale - John Keats


Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,

Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays

In Text Speak:

alredi w thee! 10dR iz d nite,

& haply d queen-moon iz on her throne,

cluster'd rownd by aL her ***y fays

If I Can Stop - Emily Dickinson


If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain.

In Text Speak:

f i cn stop 1 ♥ frm breakin,

i shaL not live n vain.



50 most poignant lines from poetry


Interview: Carol-Ann Duffy


30 words we wish were still in use



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