Hello, and welcome to the Bee’s Knees, the weekly column focusing on some of the many creative ways words and pictures can be combined! This week’s focus may not seem as exotic as book art or graphic poetry, but in recent years the spectrum of magnetic poetry has very much exploded into every realm possible.
First off, magnetic poetry has always had an artistic effect. Whether it comes from the brightly colored alphabet letters that cheer up any family’s fridge or from the smooth artistic effect of the words being separated from one another in such a way that only magnetic words can be. Not to mention the fact that when working with magnetic words, it’s easy to make them resemble anything you could want, such as this word picture by Dave Bonta.
Ten years ago you could buy a set of refrigerator poetry magnets in quite a few themes—glow in the dark, original, and several others. Today, however, you can buy a set of magnetic poetry with themes like LOLCat Poetreez, Zombie, and Unicorn Lover magnets. And that’s just going by the official Magnetic Poetry brand. Many websites especially have taken advantage of the idea to make their own sets of words. The D Continuum has released a collection of Harry Potter themed magnets, and shockedpoetry.com has a way to not only create a poem with “magnetic” words online, but even to turn them into e-greeting cards to send to loved ones.
So what are some of the more inventive things that people have done with magnetic words? Experimental poets Dave Kapell and Sally Steenland have put together a full anthology of magnetic poetry that even includes its own pack of words to mess around with. Moreover, since April is National Poetry month, many people choose that as a time to express their inner poets and take advantage of at least one of the many magnetic poetry kits available.
Another factor in the development of magnetic poetry is the internet, which has provided yet another way to play with words in the style of magnetic poetry. The official Magnetic Poetry site allows visitors to play with 6 different kits for free here, which is especially great if you’re thinking about buying one. If you’re looking for something a little more social, lunchtimers.com has a set of magnetic letters. You work on the same board as everyone else, and it’s fun to try to make words and phrases while battling others who might be stealing your letters—definitely a fun activity for a rainy day!
And that’s the bee’s knees! The past few years have changed what you can do with magnetic poetry, and it’s now easy for anyone to be able to slam words together and make a fun poem based on any theme. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this, and please come back next week for another creative way of blending words and pictures! In the meantime, as we count down to the presidential election in November, why not get in the political spirit with a box of Mixed-Up Politician magnetic poetry?