Photo via Neirfy/Shutterstock.com

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

It's the bad poetry trend sweeping Twitter.

 

Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Published Aug 11, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 7:01 am CDT

“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. 

Featured Video Hide

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.

Advertisement Hide

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

Advertisement Hide

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. 

Advertisement Hide

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

Advertisement Hide

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: 

Advertisement Hide

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. 

Share this article
*First Published: Aug 11, 2016, 9:30 am CDT