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How Twitter fell in love with the plums in William Carlos Williams’ icebox

This is just to say / that the internet / is the perfect place / for one imagist poem

By Harry Harris  

The poem was already a meme before it came to Twitter. Photo: Prospect composite

It’s tempting to think of memes as a uniquely modern thing, aided and abetted by the language of the internet. Though the term was initially coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 to describe an idea that becomes shared within a culture, online, it has taken on a slightly different life. Memes on Twitter and Tumblr retain this virality, but also have a uniquely absurdist comedic nature.

Google’s dictionary now lists two definitions: “1. An…

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