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Romanticizing Popular TikToks: How Heron Poetry is Putting Art Back Into Everyday Life

By finding the meaning in viral videos, Tik Tok creator Heron Poetry is showing just how powerful poems can be.

Credit: @HeronPoetry/Tik Tok

For months, social media has been wrapped up in romanticizing one’s life. From setting aside time for self-care, positive thinking, and beautiful photos, creators across all platforms worked together to reveal how vibrant everyday life can be. However, one writer harnessed her poetry talents and put a unique spin on this trend, which gave her much success. 

Known as Heron Poetry (@heronpoetry), she took to duetting viral videos on Tik Tok with original poems. Some silly, some melodramatic, and some simply creative, her work encompassed everything from runaway snowboarders to Dads watching golf tournaments at weddings. These videos blew up on Tik Tok and sparked an app-wide push for more poets to post their work. Heron Poetry proves how versatile poetry can be by romanticizing what was once unromanticized.

Sink and Swim

While she has written dozens of poems, the works that elevated her social media spawned from viral videos. Each no longer than twenty seconds apiece, these hilarious snippets inspired her to adapt poetry to an environment where it was not initially expected. She began with an unlikely subject: shrimp. 

@heronpoetry

#duet with @conr16 #fyp romanticizing the unromantic ep. 1 #writing #humor #romanticizing

♬ original sound – heron

The video combines the viral clip of singer Saweetie strutting away with a backdrop of the sinking Titanic. As the artist topples into the water, the video displays the headline “The uncooked shrimp on the Titanic,” insinuating that while this was a horrific event for the passengers on board, it was nothing less than an incredibly lucky break for the crustaceans. The clip garnered much attention in its own right. Yet, Heron’s addition of her original poem took the video to the next level.

I saw it, and of course, I laughed initially because I [thought] “Oh my god, this is hysterical.” Then I sat with it a little bit longer and I was like “Wait that’s actually kind of beautiful, you know?”

@HeronPoetry

Her poem, simply titled “Let’s Go,” details the event from the perspective of the shrimp. Her powerful ending stanza explains how the ending for one group of individuals was the beginning for another. Though she admits that the live shrimp on the Titanic was probably not rereleased, it is a lovely thought.

This was not the realization she anticipated while lounging on her couch, but it swept over her all the same way. Before she knew it, she had a story in front of her, one that would jumpstart her Tik Tok platform. That was if she posted it.

Riding the Waves

For most of her life, Heron’s poetry had been something entirely personal that she kept close to her heart. However, thanks to the support of her family, it did not remain that way for long. Her brother, a musician and fellow artist, convinced her to put her work out in the world. Specifically, he urged her to post the poem because there’s no way for anyone to tell what will land. She smiled fondly at the memory of his accurate instincts.

“I kind of owe it to him.” She said. “He really just pushed me because while I enjoy posting… social media is not my favorite place on earth.”

Riding on his encouragement, she duetted the original video. She titled the stitch “Romanticizing the Unromantic, Episode 1,” Her poem about shrimp finding a new future was born. 

When I asked Heron if she anticipated the attention her video would get, she laughed. Her excitement was palpable even through a video screen, and she took a moment to adjust the white headphones studded in her ears.

I think the algorithm took a couple of weeks or something, and then one day it just went off and I was like “What the fuck?!” At the time, I was very excited to get over 200 views on anything.… Looking back now, I’m just like “Wow.”

@Heron Poetry

In a matter of days, her unknown platform bloomed into a full-blown production, pumping out viral-video poems the moment inspiration struck her. Her single-episode series rapidly added episodes two, six, and eight, with the count currently numbering in the seventies. Her followers grew along with it, and she still does her best to respond to the dozens of comments she gets on each video. 

@heronpoetry

#duet with @janisbruchtepause thank you for the tag in this video @veganbenandjerrys 🙂 #romanticizingtiktoks #quotes #humor #heartbreak #lovestory #poetry

♬ gymnopédie no.1 – Edits

Social media isn’t always a positive place – which Heron herself personally attests above – but accounts such as hers are working to put positive influences back into both the literary and digital worlds, one video at a time. Yet, it isn’t just her viral videos that she’s known for.

Drifting with the Tide

Heron officially began her writing career as a journalism student at New York University before transferring to Pitzer College in Claremont, California. This decision allowed her to pursue her passion for Religion and Philosophy, which was the primary focus of her undergraduate degree. These studies partially influence her work, particularly her early original poems, which are not displayed on her Tik Tok.

“[For me] there was definitely a huge connection to trying to figure out my place in the universe, and sort of a reverence for not necessarily a God, but just everything that’s around us.”

@Heron Poetry
https://www.tiktok.com/@heronpoetry/video/7187438241979682090

She explained that this is part of why she enjoys the viral videos as much as she does since their primary purpose is putting poetry back into our everyday lives.

“I think that’s a practice that most creatives do. You walk into the world and whether its a penny on the street or a bird flying overhead… from the most mundane to the most magnificent, you’re just taking it in and looking for meaning.”

@Heron Poetry

This expression of meaning is found throughout her famous series, which presents snapshots of comedy with thoughtful undertones. For example, in “Romanticizing the Unromantic, Episode 56,” a video starring two digitized Kermit the Frogs dancing to Shakira boasts the line:

“The only exception could be that a part of me had made a home in you.”

Moving Forward

Though she is balancing midterms, rigorous science classes, and everyday life, Heron states that she’ll continue to write poetry. She doesn’t favor one form over any other, and she is excited to see how her work will continue to evolve. Notably, she hopes to one day publish a book of poems, whether tomorrow or thirty years from now. For now, however, she is ecstatic to see how much joy all her poems have brought to others.

“As a creative it’s just the most satisfying thing in the world to have people appreciate your work.” She says.

She is very grateful for all of the support given to her Tik Tok platform. She assured me that while life can be challenging, the “Romanticizing the Unromantic” series will continue.

Written By

Laurie Griffith is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Florida studying English with minors in Mass Communication and Classical Studies. In her free time, she enjoys devouring young adult novels, baking poorly, and practicing gymnastics with her club team.

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