Not long ago it was feared that poetry had become a dying art. Most people did not seek poetry beyond what they were required to read for school or sentimental verses inside a greeting card. Poets had a difficult time growing audiences, and it was hard to land a publishing deal for a poetry book.
Thanks to social media and popular mainstream poets such as Rupi Kaur and R.H. Sin, this has changed drastically. Though Instagram poetry usually isn’t as long and complex as the classics such as Byron or Tennyson, it does what poetry was always meant to do: It evokes emotion and makes the reader think, “I’m not the only one!”
If you go to popular stores, you’ll find many of the trending books contain poetry. They aren’t long-winded poems our grandparents might have enjoyed, but we could say they are bites of emotion: A sentence or two will sum up a powerful emotion, almost like song lyrics do, and sometimes there is an illustration accompanying it, making the emotional experience complete.
Is the rise of minimalist poetry a bad thing? Should we be worried that the classics still seem to be part of a dying art, while one-liners capture the attention of Instagram scrollers? That is up to you to decide.
There is still gold to be discovered in the works from two hundred years ago; if you find the motivation to get through an old poem anthology, you’ll feel the same completeness. You’ll think that a poet two hundred years ago was feeling heartbreak like you, or joy, or mourning; you’ll find the me too there, as well.
Generally speaking, we believe it is a good thing that micro-poetry on Instagram can inspire a new literary generation. People who never thought they could write are now putting their emotions onto paper, experiencing the freeing joy of being writers.
Micro-poetry doesn’t have to stop there; with practice, we might see these beginning authors give long poems a try, too. For now, we are relieved to say that poetry is no longer a dying art. Poetry is coming back to life, and flocks of people are enjoying it.ains