Roses are red, violets are blue, this poetry meme is tried and true

It's the bad poetry trend sweeping Twitter.

Feb 29, 2020, 2:07 am*

Internet Culture

Jay Hathaway 

Jay Hathaway

Photo via Neirfy/Shutterstock.com

“Roses are red / violets are blue,” probably the most famous and basic opening in all of poetry, is a perfect fit for Twitter. It clocks in at far fewer than 140 characters and is formulaic enough to subvert for laughs. 

Weird Twitter went through a fruitful “roses are red” phase back in early 2015, but twisting a rhyme that dates back to the 16th century isn’t exactly an internet meme. A meme, yes, but not one particular to the internet and social media.

A more recent mutation, though, is possible only in the contemporary garbage heap of online. Check it: A variation of “roses are red / violets are blue” is followed a screengrab of a headline or a YouTube video title that completes the rhyme and serves as the punchline.

The best recent example is this reaction to Jerry Seinfeld’s good news that he might make a sequel to Bee Movie (which is a meme in its own right): 

But the trend has been building for some time, and seems to be reaching a peak: 

https://twitter.com/frozenIakes/status/762685153290444800

The rise of Roses Are Red #content has been aided by an account, launched in August, called No Chill Poetry. It’s entirely dedicated to the format. 

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/760235118883725312

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/760231689645879296

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/762686280803254272

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/762742834801827841

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/761667624010911744

https://twitter.com/nochillpoetry/status/760485555289395200

Prominent Twitter botmaker Darius Kazemi observed this joke template reaching critical mass this week and realized it doesn’t take a human to fill it in. His new @rosesareredbot writes poems and finds headlines to cap them off. The results are often funnier than what a human would come up with: 

But the bot will be hard pressed to write anything funnier than its Twitter bio: “roses are red / violets are blue / computers can tell this kind of joke too.” 

Roses are red / violets are blue / that’s the deal with this meme / that is popular online. 

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*First Published: Aug 11, 2016, 9:30 am