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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 11:17 GMT
A bard in the hand
A bust of William Shakespeare outside the Globe Theatre
Shakespeare could soon be zooming round the globe
If you are looking for an alternative present for a stressed spouse, friend or colleague how about a month's worth of original poetry sent direct to their mobile phone?


What damned error, but some sober brow will bless it and approve it with a text

The Merchant of Venice
Since the Poem-me text message-based poetry service was launched in October, it has been gathering subscribers looking for an antidote to the frenetic pace of modern life.

As a special offer for the festive period, anyone buying the service as an unusual Christmas present will also get a free month's subscription for themselves.

Next year Poem-me is planning to branch out into other services that send either Shakespearian quotes or amazing facts to subscribers.

Tense present

Currently the Poem-me service has around 250 subscribers paying 4 a month for short, thought-provoking text message poems sent to their mobile or e-mail address five days a week. A three-month subscription costs 10.

Fredrik Lloyd
Fredrik Lloyd: Mobile poetry pioneer
The poems are the work of published poet Fredrik Lloyd.

Dahlan Lassalle, the creator of the Poem-me service, said it had won subscribers from all parts of the world including Japan, Indonesia, Israel and America.

Although Mr Lassalle had the idea for Poem-me, he has called on web designers Nectar Digital and database technology firm DBX Net to turn it into a working service.

Many regions used the same mobile phone technology predominant in Europe, which made sending text messages to most territories very straight-forward, said Mr Lassalle.

Almost 60% of all mobiles are based around the same technology as European phone networks.

But in regions like the USA and Japan, Poem-me has signed up with message brokers who maintain links with mobile networks that use different technologies. These are translating the poetry into a form that can reach and be understood by the foreign phones.

New services

Mr Lassalle admitted that Poem-me was a "niche" service, but said he was planning to launch new messaging services in the New Year that could garner more subscribers.


The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails

A Winter's Tale
First will be a service called "Shake-me", which will send pithy quotes from Shakespeare's works via text messages to mobiles or e-mail accounts.

Although the word "mobile" dates from the 15th Century, according to concordances of Shakespearian plays, the word was never used by the bard.

Next will be the Amaze-me service which will despatch startling facts to subscribers.

See also:

16 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Poet gets 75,000 for sea odyssey
31 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Eat yourself a win
12 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Text me a soap
08 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
Text me a poem
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