Everyone, stop what you’re doing and go look up the hashtag #broetry on Twitter immediately. It’s currently trending, and you absolutely must watch it unfold in real time. It’s worth it. So, so worth it.
Broetry isn’t a new phenomenon; Quirk Books published a collection of it by Brian McGackin in 2011 full of such gems as “Stopping by a Wawa on a Snowy Evening,” “Ode to That Girl I Dated for, Like, a Month Sophomore Year,” and “Why Do Buses Smell?” The current hashtag, however, seems to be spearheaded by Eater editors Helen Rosner and Hillary Dixler. As is wont to happen, the denizens of Twitter (does anyone else secretly call them Tweeple) are taking it and running with it, and the results are nothing short of amazing.
Explaining jokes is usually a surefire way to strip them every ounce of humor they have — but I'm going to break the rules a little bit. You see, I think there’s a reason the broetry trend keeps coming back. Partially, it’s because the “bro” stock character has been so deeply ingrained in our cultural consciousness courtesy of everyone from Barney Stinson to the cast of Animal House that we just always find it funny; and the other part of it? I’ll admit it: It’s because it’s a really fun and pretentious game to see if you can identify the original poem each entry riffs on. I also enjoy the fact that this particular broetry moment is happening on Twitter; bite-sized, crowd-sourced comedy brings the world together in a way that nothing else does.
So far, some of the highlights include Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl”:
Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”:
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”:
Another take on Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
A selection of Shakespeare, of course, including Sonnet 18:
John Masefield’s “Sea Fever”:
And a lot of William Carlos Williams, including “The Red Wheelbarrow”:
Although, as Emma Roller also points out:
In any event, I highly suggest heading over to Twitter and reading as many of these tiny doses of hilarity as possible. You won't regret it. I promise.