<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/poetry.jpg”>Despite its simplicity, magnetic poetry actually has quite a few uses. The most obvious is that if as a writer or poet, you’re suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, it’s a great way to try to get inspired and write a poem that could always turn out to be, or at least lead to your latest masterpiece.
Magnetic poetry is also a great educational tool that can be used with kids. For some kids and teenagers, poetry is usually synonymous with what they see as stuffy 16th century sonnets. Magnetic poetry can turn writing poetry into a fun game and is a great tool for kids to find different ways to express themselves. We’ve put together a list of web, desktop and iPad apps that bring the fun of magnetic poetry to your screen.
Desktop Poems (Mac only)
Desktop Poems brings magnet poetry to the Mac desktop in a very simple but effective way. The app is available for download from the Mac App Store. When you first open the program, don’t be fooled when nothing happens. You have to click File > New Word or File > Five New Words and Desktop Poems will display one or five tiles you can use to start creating your poem. The words will appear over any program you have open, and you can also control their opacity. If a word appears that you don’t want to keep, just right click the tile and click close.
Desktop Poems does have a small glitch. Sometimes when opened, it will display the same words over and over, but exiting and relaunching the program seems to resolve the problem. Desktop Poems is compatible with Snow Leopard only.
If you’d rather use an online service, as opposed to downloading an app,is the ideal choice. As with their products, MagPo’s online magnetic poetry kits are themed, from romance to office to artist, there’s something there for everyone. Select a kit to play with or read poems that have been submitted by other MagPo users.
Within each kit, unlike with Desktop Poems, you have to manually select and drag the tiles from a tray, to start putting together sentences. You can also choose to display tiles only from A-F, G-O or P-Z to make it easier to select words. Once you’re done, you can submit your poem to share with the rest of MagPo’s users.
If you want to take magnetic poetry on the go with you using your iPad, Poetry Magnets [iTunes link] is a handy little app that will get your creative juices flowing. Like with the web app MagPo, drag the words you want to use onto the screen. The tray of words at the bottom of the screen can be scrolled from side to side.
You can also choose certain categories of words, from common to mythical to zombie.
Once you’re done you can save the poem as an image in your photos.
Twitter Magnets is another web-based app that really pushes your creative boundaries, giving you a certain number of words to choose from, and has a nice little tune playing to boot. Once you’ve selected the words you want to keep, you can swap the words.
Twitter Magnets keeps track of how many characters you have left, so that the poem can fit in a tweet.
And Twitter Magnets also keeps track of your poem.
Once you’re done, you can choose to submit it to their Twitter account – although it hasn’t been updated since November so chances are it won’t be posted. Alternatively, you can just submit it to your own Twitter account if you want to share it with the world.
What are your favourite magnetic poetry apps? Have you written any great poetry using them? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Shutterstock