Poetry constructed using Covid-19 quarantine emails goes viral

By April 14, 2020News, Poetry

A teacher in the United States has shown how emails from corporations have used the coronavirus outbreak as a marketing opportunity.

Titled First Lines of Emails I’ve Received While Quarantining, Jessica Salfia, an English teacher and writer in West Virginia, posted the poem on Twitter.

The poem begins with the lines:

“In these uncertain times / as we navigate the new normal, / Are you willing to share your ideas and solutions? / As you know, many people are struggling,.”

Some lines are taken from opportunist virus-inspired marketing”

“Mother’s day looks a little different this year. / You’re invited to shop all jeans for 50% off!” and many corporate clichés: “How are you inspiring greatness today?”, each stanza ends with the line seen over and over in emails from companies: “As you know, many people are struggling.”

Salfia’s poem had been ‘liked’ over than 80,000 times and shared by more than 20,000 accounts. Other poems have been inspired by emails sent during COVID19, including one by a student nurse made up of lines from emails from their college, and another constructed from the final sentences of emails.

Nine-year-old Sophie of south-east London wrote a poem thanking the NHS, and Matthew Kelly wrote a poem inspired by his partner who works as a nurse. Matthew’s poem was read on BBC radio by actor Christopher Eccleston.

Ben Taylor, a poetry-loving Royal Navy petty officer in Yorkshire, shared a performance of a poem that speaks out about some hypocrisies that have not gone unnoticed:

“They’re the same folk that hashtagged ‘be kind’ / and now they’re stockpiling bog roll and pasta / And when t’government told ’em stop home / queued up in their hundreds down Asda”.

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